Ah, the poor unfairly maligned root canal is the most dreaded of all dental treatments, but unjustifiably so. Unfortunately, far too many patients buy into myths about root canals that cause unnecessary fear and anxiety and may delay getting treatment.
The most common falsehood about getting a root canal is that the procedure causes significant discomfort. With modern techniques and instruments, an endodontist can perform a root canal that results in no more pain than having a cavity filled, according to the reports of most patients who actually receive this treatment. In fact, because root canals are typically used to treat interior tooth infections that trigger sensitive nerve endings and cause pain, a root canal is actually likely to ultimately decrease a patient’s discomfort.
Some patients may also be operating under the misinformation that it is better to just have a tooth pulled rather than undergo root canal treatment, but this is more incorrect information. It is always preferable to save a biological tooth whenever possible. Even dental implants, the most advanced and structurally complete tooth replacement available, cannot fully restore an absent tooth. If an endodontist can save your tooth by performing a root canal, this is likely the preferred treatment option over extraction.
In addition to buying into these myths that shape a misinformed opinion about root canal treatment, patients may not even be aware of what the procedure involves. Having this knowledge in advance can help reassure you too. The endodontist will first apply a local anesthetic to the site to eliminate sensation in the area (and sedation may be an option for additional relaxation, as well) before drilling a small hole in order to access and remove infected pulp material. The empty root canal chamber is then cleaned thoroughly and filled with an inert rubber-like substance to prevent bacteria from repopulating the space.
One true fact about root canal treatment is that the targeted tooth may be more susceptible to breakage afterward. Therefore, patients are typically referred back to their general dentists to have a crown placed on the tooth for additional protection after a root canal.
Don’t let inaccurate hype about getting a root canal keep you from accessing this tooth-saving treatment! Call our office to speak to one of our experienced staff members to get the actual facts about root canal therapy and discuss any concerns that you may have about this treatment.