4 Debunked Root Canal Myths

Theresa Porter Root Canal

Root canals can help save a severely decayed tooth from extraction. Even though they are carried out for your benefit, and are a standard dental procedure, some people have spread myths about them, making root canal treatment appear scarier than it is. In reality, the procedure is no more frightening or time-consuming than a filling, and you will feel better as soon as the infected pulp is removed.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure for pulpitis that will save your natural tooth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. Your dentist will gently drill into the infected or damaged tooth’s root to clean and fill the canals. After a root canal, your tooth is either filled or fitted with an onlay, inlay or a dental crown.

Myth 1: Root Canal Treatments are Extremely Painful

This myth has been spread by celebrities who believe the procedure to be horrifying based on the description. One celebrity, Betsy DeVos, was frightened at the thought of a root canal and claimed they are extremely painful, only to moments later reveal that she had never had one. Tonight Show host Jimmy Carson also made this claim without having the procedure done. Dentists have to work exceptionally hard to dispel the myth that root canals are painful because of the fear spread among celebrities against them.

Modern technology like endodontic microscopes and rotary files and even sedation dentistry have made root canal treatment a minimally invasive and pain-free procedure. The most discomfort you will feel is the vibration of the drill, after which you will have a healthier mouth and a better feeling and functioning tooth.

Myth 2: It is Better to Pull the Tooth

If you are pulling your natural tooth to avoid the procedure, it is a mistake. Extracting a natural tooth unnecessarily leads to even more invasive dental treatments and expense, as well as issues with your bite, jawbone reabsorption, an aged appearance, and lower self-confidence. Root canals have a high success rate and can last a lifetime with good at-home oral hygiene practices and regular teeth cleanings and dental exams.

Myth 3: Root Canals Cause Illness and Cancer

There are always some bacteria in your mouth, and the harmful effects can be minimized by practicing proper dental hygiene, having regular check-ups with your family dentistry practice, and eating a healthy diet.

In the 1920s, a dentist called Dr. Westin A. Price stated that toxins remain in the root canal even after treatment, which can cause arthritis, heart disease, and cancer, which has been debunked for a long time.

A study published by the JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery states that patients who have endodontic treatment have a 45% reduced risk of cancer.

Myth 4: You Only Need a Root Canal Treatment if You are in Serious Pain

Once the nerves inside the root canal have died, you will no longer experience toothache – the pressure building up inside the root canal can cause fistulas and abscesses without you feeling any pain. Let Dr. Owens evaluate all dental concerns and plan the most appropriate treatment to preserve the tooth.

Root canal treatment is less invasive, less expensive, and less time consuming than having to do extractions and dental implants or bridges later on and is considered the most effective treatment for the infected dental pulp. Call Owens Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at 248-621-4816 if you have any concerns about the health of your teeth, even if you fear the procedure, we can put your mind at rest and help restore your tooth and your smile.

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