There is probably no dental procedure that is feared as much as root canal therapy. According to a recent survey conducted by the American Association of Endodontists, most people who are afraid of the treatment base their fear on other people’s experiences – not their own.
There is plenty of inaccurate information about root canal preventing potential patients from benefitting from the option to save their tooth with this treatment, and possibly opting for more dangerous options like tooth extraction. Before you start looking for alternatives, you should first learn about the true nature of root canal therapy, and decide for yourself whether it is something you should consider. Here are some common misconceptions:
Misconception #1: Root Canal Treatment is Painful
First, if you’re considering root canal, you must be already suffering excruciating tooth pain from an irreversible condition, like an infected pulp, pulpitis, a slowly dying nerve, or a broken tooth. Though there are some cases that require a root canal without the patient experiencing any pain – like with a dead tooth that may cause infection.
Actually, root canals are recommended to alleviate the pain, plus you get to retain your tooth. Most people who have undergone the procedure admit that the experience was painless, and felt better afterwards. The perception of pain may be associated with earlier treatment methods, but not with recent advancements in dentistry.
Misconception #2: Root Canal causes Illness
A certain study conducted by Dr. Weston Price between 1910 and 1930 concluded that the bacteria trapped inside the endodontically-restored tooth will cause illness, such as arthritis, heart disease, and kidney disease.
A century later, there is still no research that has successfully verified these claims. Bacteria are ever present in the mouth, but they can be effectively managed with proper cleaning, flossing, and routine dental check-ups. And even with a root canal, the inside part of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned after the removal of pulp and nerve tissue to get rid of all bacteria.
Misconception #3: The treatment required many appointments.
On the contrary, you only need one or two appointments before the procedure is completed. Factors that influence the number of appointments needed for root canal therapy include:
•Extent of the infection
•Whether you need to see an endodontist – root canal specialist
•Difficulty of the actual procedure
After the root canal, you may need to restore the tooth – with a crown or cap – for it to function properly, though the restoration procedure should not be considered as part of the root canal process.
Misconception #4: The Benefits of Root Canal are Short-lived
After a root canal, you should have a follow-up appointment to get a crown or permanent filling that protects the tooth from breaking under the forces of chewing and grinding.
Root canals have a success rate of over 85 percent, and even when you experience pain or infection years after the treatment, you can get the treatment redone. For more information, refer to our Woodland Hills root canal specialists.