The term “root canal” carries a negative connotation for many, and this is unfortunate. The truth is, root canal therapy is a very safe, proven and highly effective endodontic procedure that can alleviate your dental discomfort and save your tooth. Root canal therapy should more appropriately be regarded as heroic instead of a dreaded dental procedure. If you cringe at the term “root canal,” then you are likely believing one of the following myths or lies about the procedure.
Myth #1: Root canals are painful.
Truth: Root canals were painful a long time ago, but now they are very comfortable. In fact, root canal therapy is no more painful than getting a simple dental filling. Local anesthetic will be used along with sedation dentistry (nitrous oxide) to foster a painless and even relaxing time in the dental chair.
Myth #2: Root canals are dangerous to your health.
Truth: One debunked study proposed that root canals can spread bacteria to the rest of the body and make you sick. Many more studies and evidence has proven this to be false. You may also hear bogus claims on the internet saying that root canals can cause cancer or arthritis. Again, modern science has dismissed these fraudulent beliefs. Instead, root canal treatment can eradicate a very harmful infection and make you heathier!
Myth #3: You need a root canal only if you have a bad toothache.
Truth: Not every infection causes pain. While most patients have to deal with the throbbing and undeniable pain of an infected tooth, some are lucky enough to only experience mild or intermittent pain. Don’t let your pain level be your self-diagnosis of whether or not you need a root canal – only a dentist and x-ray can do that.
Myth #4: Extracting an infected tooth is cheaper.
Truth: Extraction may be less expensive upfront, but it will cost far more in the long run compared to a root canal. When extracting a tooth, regardless of where it is in the mouth, it will need to be replaced in order to avoid shifting teeth, bone loss and other dental issues. Replacing a missing tooth requires a dental implant, a procedure much more complicated, invasive and pricier than a simple root canal.
Myth #5 Root canals need to be redone every few years.
Truth: Nearly all root canal procedures last a lifetime. During root canal treatment, the infected pulp of your tooth is removed. The area is fully sanitized and filled with a special material to prevent future infection. Once the infected pulp is gone, there are no bacteria remaining to keep causing problems. A root canal can only fail if not all of the infection was properly removed, but this is very rare. Once you have a root canal, you should not anticipate needing another one on that tooth.
To learn more about effective, painless root canals, call Napa Valley Dental Group. We love setting the record straight when it comes to dental procedures that are often misunderstood.
Posted on Behalf of Napa Valley Dental Group