The very name “root canal” can conjure dreadful notions of pain and suffering in the minds of many patients. It’s no wonder that many people put off getting a root canal, fearing both pain during the root canal procedure and the soreness that could come afterwards.
These imagined dreadful notions (myths) are real and continue to be propagated from one generation to the other. The results are people presenting themselves to the dentist late for treatment. But reading the truth about these root canal myths can help you get a better sense of what having a root canal really is all about.
Myth 1. Root Canal is a painful process
This used to be true but with modern technology and better anesthetics, root canal treatments are no more painful than having a filling.
Myth 2. Root Canal Require a lot of Visits to the Dentist
With today’s cutting edge technology, most root canals can be performed in one or two office visits.
Myth 3. Root Canals Cause Illness
There is no evidence to support that root canals cause illness. However, there is evidence to support the fact that people who have had root canals are no more at risk for developing illness than people who have never had root canals.
Myth 4. Root Canals Involve Removing the Roots of the Tooth
Root canal involves removing the pulp from inside of the tooth. The roots of the tooth are not removed.
Myth 5. Pregnant Women Can’t Have Root Canals
Pregnant women can and do have root canals. Having a root canal does require a small x-ray, but the radiation exposure is very minimal and the x-ray is aimed at the mouth, not the abdomen area. If you are pregnant and your dentist needs to give you an x-ray, he will use a lead apron to cover your belly. The anesthetics that dentists use are also safe for pregnant women.Be sure to let your dentist know beforehand if you are pregnant.
Myth 6. Even With A Root Canal, The Tooth Will Come Out Eventually
If you have your tooth properly restored, maintain good oral hygiene, and visit your dentist for regular checkups, your natural tooth could last for the rest of your life.
Myth 7. If the Tooth Doesn’t Hurt, There is no Need for a Root Canal
While a throbbing toothache usually results in the need for root canal treatment, many times a tooth can require root canal treatment when there is no pain present. A dentist can test a tooth to see if the pulp has been infected or damaged. If this is the case, a root canal would be necessary to save the tooth.
8. Pulling out the Tooth is Better than Getting a Root Canal
Keeping your natural teeth for as long as possible is very important for proper eating and chewing functions. There are several options available for missing teeth, such as dentures, partial dentures, dental implants and fixed dental bridges, however, these alternatives can be much more expensive than saving your tooth with a root canal treatment.
Myth 9. After Having a Root Canal, My Tooth is Completely Restored
After having a root canal, it is extremely important to make a follow-up appointment with your dentist to have the tooth permanently restored. After the pulp of the tooth has been removed, the tooth can become very dry and brittle. Having a permanent restoration will help protect your tooth from fracturing.