Before we start, let’s clear ourselves on what exactly a ‘root canal’ is. It is a term that is used to define the cavity at the center of a tooth. Common reasons to get root canal treatment are pulpitis (infected pulp), broken tooth or a slowly dying nerve. The presence of nerves within our teeth helps our body’s sensory system determine the difference between the sensations of hot and cold.
The fact is that ‘root canal treatment’ sounds scary to the layman, it is commonly accepted that this procedure is something to be scared of – generally, because the process has garnered an unfair reputation over time. Human nature leads our imagination to go into overdrive when we are scared, thus these myths have allowed perpetuating a negative stereotype about root canal treatment over the years. Here we will discuss 7 painfully incorrect myths about root canal treatment:
Root Canal Treatment is too Painful to Handle
It is assumed that this treatment is incredibly painful. A procedure to dread because you’ll never truly recover from its horror! However, that is certainly not the case. In fact, root canal treatment is used to relieve pain – the infection in your tooth is causing the pain, not the treatment!
“Roughly 14 million people undergo root canals each year, making this procedure one of the most common types of dental treatments. That being said, many people today still put off necessary root canals because of the fear of discomfort. The truth is the discomfort from a diseased or damaged tooth is much worse than anything that occurs at a dental office.” – Precision Endodontics P.C.
Your Endodontist (root canal specialist) will be fully trained in the use of all the latest equipment and technology to make the procedure as pain-free as possible. It has often been compared to the pain of receiving a filling!
Root Canal Treatment Cause Dangerous Illnesses
Research conducted almost a century ago is often cited as ‘evidence’ and reason not to get Root Canals. This study claimed that root canal treatment causes other illnesses throughout the body – this study has since been debunked. Root canal treatments are conducted to remove bad bacteria from the infected tooth. They are designed to fight infection, not further its advancement.
A Complete Root Canal Takes Multiple Appointments
The general rule of thumb is that root canal treatment can be completed in 2-3 sessions. There are many factors that contribute towards how many appointments you’ll need to attend before you are fully cleared, these include:
Root Canal Treatment is Not Necessary Until You Are in Pain
Pain is not the only indicator for a root canal. Noticing a dead tooth before it becomes infected is an effective way to get ahead of the painful part of the whole ordeal.
Your dentist will be able to suggest if you need one when you go for your regular check-up. As they are thoroughly examining your teeth, they will be able to discover if any of your teeth have died or are on their way. They can confirm dead teeth by using these techniques:
The Benefits Don’t Last Long
Root canal treatment is designed to be a long-lasting pain relief that saves your tooth from breaking or being removed, in the future. However, there are caveats attached to this. Just undergoing the procedure is not enough, you must also ensure that your tooth goes through the ‘final restoration’ or crown process.
Aftercare is imperative for the long-lasting success of any medical treatment. For root canals, a well-made crown, good dental/oral hygiene and routine visits to your dentist, can ensure that your tooth stays healthy and happy.
Root Canal = Having My Roots or Teeth Removed?
The essence of undergoing root canal treatment is to save your tooth from being removed and to ensure you do not have to go through the traumatic experience of having a tooth removed. There are no satisfactory replacements for a natural tooth, and having yours removed causes more harm than it can ever do good.
If your tooth is removed, it creates an avenue for bad bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause you all sorts of problems. These issues will harm your body and your finances, as finding alternatives to replace your natural tooth (bridges, implants, etc.) will prove to be an expensive task.
Root Canals Are Expensive
It is difficult to dispel this myth entirely as many factors come attached to this point.
Root canals are indeed more expensive compared to more routine procedures such as Fillings. This is because root canals require more skill to treat. However, they are comparatively cheaper than having your tooth removed and replaced with an artificial alternative.
Similarly, prices vary depending on the specific tooth you need a root canal performed on. The general rule of thumb is that incisors will cost less and molars will cost more. Also, if your case is not too complicated, a dentist may be able to perform the procedure – which will be significantly cheaper than an endodontist. More complicated cases will be required to go to an endodontist, as they are experts in diagnosing, managing and treating root canal problems.
Root canal treatments are a commonplace procedure in the modern dentistry world. You have no reason to be scared by misinformation and pseudoscience as this treatment, when done correctly, is pain-free, risk-free and cost effective.