Top 10 Facts and Myths Surrounding Root Canal Treatment

Posted on: May 14, 2017

In what situations should you get a root canal? What is a root canal? Why are people so afraid of them? There are numerous reasons why you might need a root canal. Typical cases include cracked teeth, deep cavities, infections, or trauma causing irreversible damage. Damage usually leads to disease and bacteria begin to grow. Eventually, if left untreated, causing pain and your tooth to rot. During a root canal, the dentist removes the bacteria filled fluid, surrounding the root of the infected tooth. A dentist fills your tooth since your tooth is empty. This gives your tooth support and strength and prevent any bacteria from returning, and allows the root to heal. It’s a procedure that cleans the tooth so it can heal. Let’s explore truths and myths about root canals together.

Myth 1#: Root canals are painful

Fact: Root canals were painful back in the day before anesthetics. In the twenty-first century, more techniques are available, and anesthetics are readily accessible. In fact, root canals often relieve pain that previously existed.

Myth #2: Root canals are expensive

Fact: Well, there is some truth to this. However, not all dentists charge the same rates, so you may want to look into this. Some are more experienced than others. The state of your tooth influences the price as well. How badly is your tooth infected or damaged? Will your procedure take one visit or two? The more time, the more expensive.

Myth #3: Pain is immediately gone once you have a root canal

Fact: Pain depends on the individual. Again, how badly infected or damaged is your tooth? How well are you able to tolerance pain? This is more of a personal experience and varies from person to person. Since there isn’t an infection anymore, you should feel less pain. Maybe you should be going through a different type of pain, pain resulting from the surgery.

Myth #4: Root canals kill the tooth

Fact: A root canal removes the infection from the tooth, or repairs the tooth if it’s salvageable. The purpose is to save the tooth and do everything to support and keep the original tooth. The tooth itself is still alive.

Myth #5: You must take powerful painkillers after the root canal

Fact: Again, this depends on the individual. Are you able to handle your pain? How complicated was the procedure? It’s always good to have some painkillers on hand to help manage the inflammation. It never hurts to prepare for the worst.

Myth #6: An Extraction Is Better Than a Root Canal

Fact: This is not true. It may be cheaper to have an extraction performed than a root canal, but it is not better for your oral health. An extraction removes your tooth entirely; there is no effort to save your original tooth. Whenever it’s possible, you should save your tooth.

Myth #7: Root Canals Require Multiple Visits

Fact: The number of visits depends on how severely damaged or infected your tooth is. However, the procedure usually takes a few hours. Sometimes you may need to have two visits for a couple of hours, but nothing more than that. There are consultations, follow-up visits, and check-ups, but these are not part of the procedure.

Myth #8: Teeth That Need a Root Canal Usually Need a Crown

Fact: This is true. Since part of your tooth at this point has partially rotted inside, it’s compromised. As a result is more likely to crack or fracture. Many dentists will recommend a crown to help keep the integrity of your tooth.

Myth #9: You Only Need a Root Canal If You’re in Pain

Fact: Although most people who get root canals are experiencing a lot of pain, you don’t need to be in pain to get a root canal. In fact, your tooth might be dead and not causing you any pain at all.

Myth #10: A Failed Root Canal Means Extraction

Fact: Although the majority of root canals are successful, there is an off chance that your wasn’t. If this procedure happened years ago, and now it’s causing you pain, the dentist can retreat your tooth. Meaning, your dentist will clean and disinfect your tooth again. Sometimes a dentist may suggest another procedure, to remove part of the roots of the teeth. Historically, this has been a successful process as well.

Summary of Facts and Myths About Root Canals

In conclusion, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding root canals. Some myths are from old outdated procedures, while others are just from not having enough information. Root canals are not exceptionally painful, they aren’t cheap, but the prices vary. You’ll still experience pain afterward and should take painkillers; your tooth is still alive. You’ll probably need a crown, and my need one or two visits for the procedure. Pain or no pain, you may need a root canal, and a failed process doesn’t mean you need an extraction.For more information about root canal therapy or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.