Lets face it, going to the dentist for a root canal isn’t anyones favorite pastime. But, root canals are an important part of dental care whose long term benefits outweigh the temporary dental phobia of the dentist drill.
Its Root Canal Appreciation Day on Monday, May 13th and to help shed some light on why root canals are something to celebrate, we wanted to share with you some root canal myths and facts.
Myth: Root Canal Therapy is Painful
Root canals are performed to relieve pain caused by inflammation or a dental infection. With modern anesthesia, this procedure is no more painful than doing a filling. In fact, dental fear may heighten the sensations you feel during the procedure, so its best to relax to avoid unnecessary pain.
Myth: Root Canals Dont Work
A proper root canal and crown can last a lifetime. The problem doesnt stem from the root canal itself, but from a poor restoration. When the nerve is removed from the inside of the tooth, the blood supply is eliminated and the tooth eventually becomes brittle. Only if the crown fails do the forces from grinding and chewing cause the tooth to break.
Myth: Root Canals are a Long Procedure
In fact, the length of the procedure depends on how deep your infection is. A standard root canal can be entirely completed in a one hour session. In cases where infection is severe, your dentist or endodontist may place a drug inside to help disinfect the interior of the tooth and then finish the root canal treatment a few days later.
Fact: Teeth Undergoing Root Canal Therapy Often Need a Crown
Usually teeth that need root canal treatment have very big cavities or big fillings. These teeth have a higher risk of becoming fractured or cracked. For this reason, your dentist may recommend placing a crown after the root canal procedure to make the tooth stronger.
Myth: Root Canal Therapy Causes Illness
This myth stems from almost 100-year-old research that said that bacteria trapped inside an endodontically-treated tooth will cause illness. Bacteria can be found in the mouth at any time and recent attempts to confirm this research have been unsuccessful in proving that root canal treatment causes illness.
Myth: Teeth Need to Hurt Before Root Canal Therapy Becomes Necessary
Your teeth dont necessarily have to hurt to require a root canal. Your dentist may find a dead tooth during your routine examination that may require root canal therapy to prevent the tooth from becoming infected.
Myth: Tooth Extraction is a Good Alternative
Saving your natural teeth is the always best option. An artificial tooth may cause you to avoid certain foods. Also, root canals are usually less expensive than the combination of tooth extraction and dental bridge or implant.
Fact: Root Canals Are Costly
Root canals can be expensive, but they also save the tooth and help relieve dental pain. There are many ways to lower the cost of root canals, including dental schools, pro bono dental work and enrolling in a Discount Dental Plan.
Have you undergone a root canal to save a tooth? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.