5 Root Canal Myths
Through the years, root canal treatment (endodontic therapy) has been considered one of the most feared procedures in the dental industry. It is common for someone to even compare something horrible to a root canal, but in reality, this infamous treatment is not as bad as it has been made out to be.
Before we can dispel the myths, it is important to have a good understanding of root canal therapy. Endodontic therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is a treatment plan for the infected pulp of a tooth which results in the removal of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion.
During a root canal or other endodontic treatment, the dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp of the tooth. After the pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected. The tooth is then filled and sealed with a rubbery type substance, called gutta-percha. For protection, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling and continues to function like any other tooth.
Over the years, root canals have developed a bad reputation and there are many misconceptions swirling around out there about them. Here are the five most common root canal myths and why we believe they are, in fact, just myths.
Myth #1: Root Canals are Painful
Many people fear the worst and go into panic mood when they hear they may need a root canal. The common misunderstanding is that root canals are extremely painful. In 2018, the reality is that it is very rare for root canal therapy to be painful. This is primarily due to the use of modern anesthetics. If performed correctly, a root canal is no more painful than a regular filling.
Myth: Root Canals are Too Expensive
While some patients fear the pain of a root canal, others fear the cost of root canal treatment. The thing about therapy is that every dentist has their set rate for root canals, and what is covered by insurance will vary from plan to plan. Compared to other dental procedures, root canals may cost more but they are also very complicated and require considerable dental skill to complete. It is important to keep in mind that a root canal is less costly than having a tooth extraction and replacing it with a custom bridge or dental implant.
Myth: Tooth Pain Instantly Goes Away
Many people believe as soon they leave the dental office after root canal treatment there is no more pain. While root canal therapy will eliminate of the source of the pain (the infected pulp), there will be some discomfort after completion. The primary reason for minor lingering discomfort is that your infected tooth and the surrounding area will be poked and prodded during therapy, causing some sensitivity and swelling. In some cases, you may be prescribed a light painkiller to ease the discomfort. After a couple of weeks, all pain from the procedure should subside.
Myth: Benefits of Root Canal Therapy are Short-Lived
The results of a root canal are long-lasting. Properly performed endodontic treatment relieves tooth pain and preserves the affected tooth. However, it is the restoration process that determines the ultimate success of a root canal. A well developed and well fit crown, coupled with excellent at home dental practices and regular visits to the dentist, will ensure results that last a lifetime.
Myth: Pulling an Infected Tooth is Better than a Root Canal
There is nothing like a real tooth. Not only does a tooth extraction allow more bacteria into the bloodstream, but it also requires a bridge, dental implant, or other replacement alternative. This requires more money and more time in a dental chair. The best course of action for an infected tooth is a root canal.
Being an informed patient will help alleviate concerns and clear up confusion about root canals. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort and think you need a root canal, please contact our Beverly Hills endodontic office and schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you preserve your tooth and return to good dental health!