When a dentist recommends a root canal, many patients recoil in horror at the thought. Root canal therapy is often looked at in disdain thanks to the horror stories shared from generations prior. Here are the top three myths about root canals and why they are false:
Root canals are extremely painful. Many people believe this because the damage to the tooth itself is so severe that the infection causes intense pain. Patients sometimes confuse the treatment with the preexisting condition, but during a root canal, the dentist will use medication to numb the area. The nerves causing the pain are removed in the procedure. This is not painful and provides instantaneous relief by removing the source of the discomfort entirely. While the surrounding gum may indeed be sore for a few days post-procedure, it is a discomfort easily remedied with over-the-counter pain medications.
Root canals are a temporary procedure that will break the tooth soon. This myth came about due to its origins in the truth. When a tooth is treated with root canal therapy, the blood supply is lost. This does cause the tooth to become brittle over time. However, the tooth can and should be reinforced with a crown. If a tooth breaks after a root canal, it is the lack of a crown that is the problem, not the root canal. Seeing one of our dentists well-versed in both root canals and crowns can avoid this problem entirely and save the tooth for decades, if it is maintained properly.
Root canals cause the tooth to feel different inside the mouth. During a root canal, only the offending nerves and pulp are removed and filled. The nerves in your jaw and surrounding teeth will be left undisturbed. You will still be able to judge your bite strength and the presence of food or an object in your mouth. It will not feel much different after treatment, except that the pain will be eliminated. As an added bonus, hot and cold sensitivity is also greatly curtailed in teeth treated with root canal therapy.
Myths regarding root canals often begin due to a poorly-done procedure or a misunderstanding of its effects. By knowing the truth about root canals, you can make more educated decisions about your dental health. If you think you need to come in for a root canal or are worried about the effects of a damaged tooth call us today.