If you need a root canal, there’s no shame in being nervous. Few people get excited about spending extra time at the dentist’s office. But many of the fears surrounding root canal surgery are based on myths. There are countless misconceptions about endodontic treatments –– some say it’s better to avoid a root canal because they might cause pain or illness, while others might even claim that it’s better to have the tooth extracted instead of getting a root canal. These are far from true, but discerning truth from myth isn’t easy. That’s why we’re debunking the 3 root canal myths people still believe, and explaining why you can have peace of mind if your dentist recommends getting a root canal.
Myth #1: Root Canal Surgery is Painful
As with most medical and dental procedures, you are bound to experience some pain and discomfort while getting a root canal. It is also true that some decades ago, it was an excruciating procedure. However, modern technology and anesthesia have made this process almost pain-free. Depending on the root cause of your tooth pain, getting a root canal will actually alleviate pain in most instances. You may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity for a few days after the treatment, but it can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications and isn’t bad enough for you to be scared of it.
Myth #2: Root Canals Can Cause Illness
Many people seem to believe that you are more likely to become ill after getting a root canal treatment, but there’s no evidence to support this claim. This false claim stems from poorly designed research that was conducted nearly a century ago –– before modern medicine had a better grasp on the causes of many diseases –– and has been debunked by various experts.
Myth #3: Root Canals Last for Life
Unfortunately, root canal treatments might not last forever. A root canal is an essential part of saving a tooth with irreversible nerve damage. However, the root canal by itself doesn’t finish the job. Because the root canal removes the blood vessels from the inside of a tooth, it leaves the tooth without a source of hydration. The tooth becomes brittle and dry, with an extremely high risk for cracking. Teeth with root canals need full coverage by a dental crown to prevent fractures from developing.
Even after you cover the tooth with a crown, it is still vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. Teeth with root canals require the same care, if not even better care, than those without. Because there is no nerve remaining in a tooth with a root canal, you will not have sensitivity or pain to warn you of a problem like a cavity or a crack.
The tooth is only “fixed” when a crown covers it, you perform consistent good oral hygiene at home, and you see your dentist for professional cleanings and evaluations every six months. Even then, no root canal is guaranteed to last a lifetime and may need to be repaired or replaced down the road.
Believing any of these myths might keep you from pursuing root canal treatment in a timely manner. But if your dentist recommends root canal surgery, seeking treatment quickly is key. The sooner you have your root canal, the sooner you can get relief from pain and correct the problem. Advances in technology have made root canals easier than ever, and our team at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado offers our patients a variety of relaxation and sedatives to make the treatment as comfortable and pleasant as possible!
When you need root canal therapy, entrust your teeth to the experts. Our specialized endodontists make it their mission to restore your teeth and relieve your pain. With offices conveniently located in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, the care you need is just a phone call away. Contact us today to schedule your evaluation and start your journey toward a healthy, beautiful smile!