Do you have tooth pain? Are you dreading the thought of a root canal? You’re not alone. Root canal therapy has a bad reputation, thanks to decades of misinformation and myths about it. But don’t worry – we’re here to set the record straight! In this blog post, we’ll dispel some of the most common myths about root canals and explain what you can expect from this treatment.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to save teeth that are infected or damaged. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissue from inside the tooth and then sealing it to prevent further damage. Root canal therapy is usually recommended when the alternative is extracting the tooth.
A root canal may be needed if you are experiencing tooth pain, swelling, or redness near the tooth. It may also be necessary if you have a cracked or broken tooth, a cavity that is close to the nerve, or extensive decay. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Root Canal Myths
Now let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about root canals:
One of the most common myths about root canals is that they are painful. In reality, most patients report feeling little to no pain during the procedure. The majority of patients who do experience discomfort say that it is mild and manageable with over-the-counter pain medication.
Root Canal Therapy Makes You Sick
Another common myth is that root canal therapy can make you sick. While this was a popular myth in the 1920s, this is simply not true. As of 1950, it was determined there is no evidence to suggest that root canal therapy causes any type of illness. In fact, root canal therapy removes infected tissue, which can actually improve your oral and overall health.
Root Canal Therapy Removes the Tooth Roots
This is another myth with no basis in reality. Root canal therapy does not remove the tooth roots. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissue from inside the tooth, which is then sealed to prevent further damage. The entire external structure of the tooth remains in the mouth.
I Don’t Need a Root Canal Because I Feel No Pain
Just because you’re not experiencing pain does not mean that you don’t need a root canal. In many cases, the damage caused by an infection or decay is not immediately painful. However, if left untreated, the damage will eventually become painful and may lead to more serious problems. Anytime a pulp infection is detected, root canal therapy is necessary to remove the infection and prevent it from spreading.
Teeth Usually Need to Be Extracted After a Root Canal
This is another myth that is simply not true. In most cases, teeth that have undergone root canal therapy can be saved. In fact, studies show that teeth that have had root canals are just as strong and durable as other teeth. With that being said, there are some cases where a root canal can fail, resulting in the need for a tooth extraction. The best way to avoid this scenario is to see your dentist as soon as you notice something is wrong with your tooth.
There is No Sensation in the Affected Tooth After a Root Canal
This is not necessarily true. While some patients do experience numbness in the affected tooth after a root canal, this is usually temporary and will go away within a few hours. You will still have sensation in your tooth because the tooth roots are intact, and because the ligaments around the tooth still have sensation. However, you will not experience tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet since there is no tooth nerve.
I Don’t Need to Visit the Dentist After Having a Root Canal
Just because you’ve had a root canal doesn’t mean you can stop going to the dentist. It’s important to continue to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings at least once every six months. Regular dental visits can actually allow your dentist to detect problems early on and avoid the need for a root canal altogether. Additionally, you should see your dentist if you experience any new symptoms or pain in the affected tooth.
In this blog post, we’ve dispelled some of the most common myths about root canals. Root canal therapy has gotten a bad rap over the years, but we hope this blog post has helped to dispel some of the myths and ease your fears about this treatment. If you are experiencing any symptoms that may require a root canal, please don’t hesitate to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.