If you were recently informed that you need a root canal, chances are the minute you left your dentist’s office, you immediately began scouring the internet for information on this well-known but highly misunderstood dental service. The internet can be a great place to gather helpful information, but it is also plagued by unreliable sources and dangerously inaccurate information that can lead unknowing online researchers astray. The following are common myths and misinformation about root canals and tooth pain that are prevalent online:
Myth 1: Root canal therapy is painful:
There is the stigma root canal is a painful procedure. But, the truth is root canal therapy is performed to relieve pain. Root canals are needed when an untreated cavity spreads to the pulp of your tooth and causes an infection. This is where the pain comes from, not the procedure itself.
Dentist at MB Dental will numb the area around the infected tooth where you will hardly feel anything during the procedure. Once complete, the excruciating pain you’ve experience before will disappear, and your tooth will be saved.
Myth 2: Completing a root canal requires several appointments:
Root canal therapy may be completed in one to two appointments. Factors that determine the number of appointments necessary to complete a root canal include:
- The extent of the infection.
- The difficulty of the root canal.
Restoring the tooth after root canal therapy is necessary in order to ensure the tooth functions properly. The appointments necessary to completely restore the tooth, in essence, should not be considered part of the root canal process.
Myth 3: A root canal is a costly treatment:
Having a root canal and a dental crown remains less expensive than extracting a tooth and then replacing it with a bridge or a dental implant. Costs vary on how many canals a tooth has, whether it’s the first time the root canal is achieved or retreatment, or who performs the root canal (general dentist or specialist).
Myth 4: The benefits of root canal therapy are temporary:
Results from a root canal are actually long-lasting. They relieve patients’ toothaches and preserve the affected tooth indefinitely. The final restoration or crown is the key to successful results.
Myth 5: A good alternative to root canal is tooth extraction:
Sometimes, to avoid spending extra time and money for a root canal procedure, patients opt for a tooth extraction. Unfortunately, the patient may be unaware that a tooth extraction will eventually create a need for more extensive procedures and costly tooth replacements. After an extraction, the missing tooth should be replaced with restorative dentistry services such as dental implants or bridges, thus requiring more time in the dental chair and treatments that are much more expensive than a simple root canal.
More importantly, root canal treatments conserve more healthy tooth structure. While dental implants and bridges may be durable replacements, healthy, natural teeth will always be stronger and more functional than a prosthetic.