5 Common Root Canal Myths & Misconceptions

root canal myths misconceptionsThere 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.

Mini Implants vs. Regular Implants

mini vs regular implantsDental implants are usually recommended when you need to replace one or more missing teeth, or when fitting removable dentures to provide a firm base on which the dentures can be snapped on and off. Although there are two types of dental implants – standard and mini – most dentists prefer the standard dental implants because they’re very reliable, plus they give predictable results that feel and look great.
Mini Dental Implants vs. Regular Dental Implants
However, not every patient is a good candidate for traditional implants, and your dentist may recommend mini dental implants as a workable alternative. So, how do mini dental implants compare to regular implants?

Differences in Structure

All types of dental implants are fabricated from titanium, because it is one of the few metals that are completely biocompatible with the body. This means that titanium does not trigger an immune response in the body.
However, mini dental implants are about half the diameter of regular implants. While regular implants comprise three parts – an implant post inserted into the jawbone, an implant abutment that is fixed to the post, and a replacement tooth – mini dental implants comprise two parts because the implant post and abutment are fitted as a single piece.
Because mini implants are narrow, it takes 2 of them to provide the same support as one standard implant.
Differences in Surgical Procedure
Each type of implant uses a slightly different surgical procedure when being inserted into the jawbone. With regular dental implants, the dentist has to make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the jawbone underneath, so implant post can be inserted. The gums are then stitched shut to allow the implant to heal and integrate with the jawbone. The abutment is usually attached after the implant has healed in another appointment that may or may not involve a small surgical procedure to reveal the implant.
With a mini implant, the post is usually inserted directly through the gum tissues and into the jawbone. No gum incisions are necessary because the implant post is much narrower compared to a regular implant. This means that there are no stitches. In addition, the post and abutment come as a single piece, and the abutment will appear above the gums, eliminating the need for further procedures.

When are mini dental implants recommended?

In most cases, mini dental implants are used to stabilize loose dentures (upper or lower), or to replace missing teeth in narrow gaps where there is insufficient room to insert a regular dental implant. They can also be recommended in cases where there is so much bone loss that a normal diameter implant cannot be placed.
However, mini implants do not offer the same degree of stability and longevity as regular dental implants, because of their smaller surface area. To determine the best solution for your dental problem, it is important that you visit your dentist for proper consultation.