Root canals have garnered a nasty reputation over the years. Whether in movies, on the Internet, or through word-of-mouth, you’ve probably heard things that make you apprehensive about the root canal procedure.
However, the hearsay is often wrong or simply just outdated information.
If you’ve heard that root canals are painful, cause illness, or other scary rumors, don’t believe the hype! Root canals are one of the safest and most pain-free ways to save a natural tooth. So, if you’re scared to get in the dental chair for your root canal procedure, the friendly dentists at Little Rock Family Dental Care are here to put your mind at ease by debunking the myths that surround root canals.
Here are the REAL facts about root canals…
Root canals are NOT painful
The myth that root canal treatment is painful stems from a couple of different reasons:
- The dead or decaying tooth itself is painful due to infection
- The expectation of pain heightens the sensation you feel during the procedure
- The early treatment methods that were used decades ago had a certain degree of pain associated with them
- With modern technology, advances in anesthetics, a variety of options for sedation dentistry, and a team of professionals who are trained in pain management, you can always feel like you are in safe hands during a root canal procedure. In fact, root canals are similar to receiving a common filling and are just about as painless.
Root canals do NOT cause illness
The myth that root canals cause illness or disease (such as arthritis, kidney disease, or heart disease) stems from a study conducted almost a century ago. This was before medical professionals at the time were able to discern and understand the causes of many diseases.
To date, there is no valid scientific evidence that links root canal treatment to illness.
Not only are root canal procedures completely safe, they effectively eliminate the bacteria caused by the infected roots of your teeth, which improves both your oral and overall health.
Tooth pain is NOT always present with a dead tooth
The myth that you would have to be experiencing tooth pain to indicate that there is a problem in need of a root canal can be a devastating mistake. In many cases, the tooth that is affected might only have a visual cue such as a fistula. A fistula is a “pimple” on the gums that acts as a tunnel that drains the pus from an infected tooth, therefore not causing any pain because it keeps the pressure from building. It is best to have a dentist test for problems that cannot be seen or felt.
It is NOT better to just pull the tooth
The myth that it is better to just pull the tooth rather than have a root canal treatment is simply not true. It is always best, if possible, to keep your natural tooth for as long as possible. When removed, it can lead to other dental problems like tooth drifting, biting problems, jaw pain, and more.
A bridge or dental implant might be an option, but it is not as effective as a natural tooth because it may result in more treatment time and further dental procedures to the supporting tissue and neighboring teeth. Speak with your dentist to find out which option is the best route for you.