Root canals have a negative reputation, but patients have nothing to fear from the procedure today. Harmful myths about root canals are decades old. Today’s root canal procedures are comfortable and surprisingly fast.
Our patients often share their concerns about root canals, including these three popular myths. This blog will debunk the top three root canal myths and provide essential information about the procedure.
Myth #1: Root Canals are Painful
While root canals may have been uncomfortable decades ago, today, they are no worse than a standard filling. Advances in local anesthesia and root canal techniques have made the procedure much more tolerable.
After a root canal, you may experience some jaw soreness from holding your mouth open.
Myth #2: Pulling a Tooth is Better than a Root Canal
When given the option of a root canal or a tooth extraction, dentists typically choose a root canal. They will also enjoy better oral health. Root canals treat the infection without removing the tooth. When the dentist can preserve the natural tooth, the patient can avoid paying for a costly restoration.
Myth #3: Root Canals Cause Illness
No scientific evidence exists that suggests root canal treatment causes illness. The misconception comes from erroneous medical information that is a century old. This dangerous myth could cause people to avoid necessary treatment.
Why are Root Canals Necessary?
Root canals become necessary when the pulp inside the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. If you need a root canal, your tooth may become painful to chew on and highly sensitive to heat and cold. You may experience pimple-like swelling or pus along the gum line due to the infection inside the tooth.
Broken or cracked teeth frequently receive root canals as well. A root canal can save a natural tooth from extraction, saving the patient time and the high cost of bridges or implants.
The Root Canal Procedure
Understanding how dentists perform root canals can help calm a patient’s fears. First, the dentist opens the tooth’s crown to access the pulp inside. They clean the infected material from the crown and the roots using special tools shaped like files. They may use a dental microscope or endoscope to visualize the area better.
The dentist may place an antibiotic to clear the infection. In this case, the patient would return in a few days to have the root canal completed. After the infection is taken care of, the dentist files and reshapes the canals to prevent future problems.
The dentist fills the tooth with a specialized material called gutta-percha and seals the restoration with a temporary filling. The patient then returns to prepare the tooth for the crown and receives a temporary crown until their permanent crown arrives from the lab.
A root canal takes only about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the complexity of your tooth anatomy. A large tooth with multiple roots may take up to 90 minutes.
Call Sunshine Dentistry
If you have symptoms that indicate you might need a root canal, don’t hesitate to call Sunshine Dentistry at 609-465-5415. We can quickly relieve your pain and stabilize your tooth to eliminate the need for an extraction.