A lot of long-standing myths surround root canal treatment. Some even say that root canals are very harmful and can only lead to a whole host of health problems. Others think they’re unnecessary, and a few think they’re too painful to endure.
We’re here to debunk those myths and give you the facts. After all, you need to be fully aware of all the options available to you so you can make the best possible decision regarding your oral health.
The Real Deal on Root Canals
Root canals are meant to relieve — not cause — oral pain. Endodontists perform root canals to save your tooth, which is decayed or infected. A root canal can prevent you from losing your teeth altogether.
Here’s how they work:
As you can see from the video, trained specialists are working on your numb tooth to repair the insides. Which, aside from the exact location, doesn’t seem that much different than getting a filling. Does it?
Myth No. 1: Is it really painful?
You’ve likely heard jokes about how something unpleasant is about “as fun as having a root canal.” Now we’re not saying it’s party time at the dentist, but we are saying root canals are not as bad as people have you believe.
The truth is, root canals were indeed painful, but this was before the dawn of modern technologies and anesthetics. But now, here’s what the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) has to say about root canals.
Root canals are:
“no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. In fact, a recent survey showed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as painless than patients who have not had root canal treatment.”
So, there’s no need to fear the pain of a root canal. As you can see, technology has advanced, and your tooth remains numb the entire time.
The organization also points out that the procedure does not cause illnesses.
Myth No. 2: Can they make you sick?
In the 1920s, American dentist Dr. Weston A. Price claimed that bacteria trapped in damaged teeth could leak during a root canal treatment and cause almost any type of disease in the body.
However, this claim was based on a poorly designed research and has long been debunked. Here is the truth coming from the AAE article:
There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. Decades of research since the 1930s have contradicted Dr. Price’s findings, and more recent research continues to support the safety of dental treatment [such as root canals] as it relates to overall health.
Your endodontist is specifically trained for this procedure. They’re very careful to clean inside and around the tooth to ensure no bacteria is trapped inside your tooth.
In fact, the main reason for root canals in the first place is to clear infection, bacteria, and decay. That is the exact opposite of this old and tired myth.
Myth No. 3: Why not just yank it?
Nothing beats your own teeth. Sure, there are dentures and implants, but there is really no substitute for your original teeth. According to the specialists of the AAE, nothing compares to them. And you should do everything you can to save them — including root canals.
With artificial teeth, you sometimes need to avoid certain foods. That’s not true when you keep your own. That way, you can continue to enjoy all the foods necessary to maintain a balanced diet.
If your trusted dentist tells you that you need to have a tooth extracted, ask if root canals are an option. Your goal is to save your teeth and keep them right where they belong — in your mouth.
And if you think that you can just have a bridge or an implant to replace the extracted tooth, that’s even more treatment than a root canal. Not only that, but it may require work on your gums, supporting tissue, and surrounding teeth.
Root Canals Are Nothing to Fear
Thanks to the development of superior dental tools and the evolution of dentistry, root canals are safer than ever, and in the hands of skillful dentists.
Don’t fall prey to any of the myths about root canals. Talk to our team at Your Caring Dentist Group and get the true information, so you can make a decision that’s right for you.
The last thing you want to do is lose your teeth because you believed something that wasn’t true. Rest assured that our trained specialists have your tooth’s best interest in mind.
If you think you need a root canal, contact us, gather all the facts, and then make your choice. Above all, take care of your teeth, they’re the only ones you have.
Have you ever had a root canal? Do you think you need one? Ask any questions you have about the procedure in the comments!