5 Myths about Root Canals Debunked

How do you react when you hear the term ‘root canal’? It is likely to bring all of us in despair and think off an unpleasant experience. There are several reasons why dentists recommend a root canal, and the most common ones are:

  • Deep decay which causes an abscess in a tooth
  • A crack or chipped tooth which can result in an infection
  • Accidents which have hurt the face
  • Repeated dental work which eroded the tooth

Taking care of a tooth, which has been recommended to have a root canal, is crucial. If you leave it untreated, it can result in additional problems, and worsen the repairing process in the future. The expected complications in such a case are:

  • swelling of gums, neck, and cheeks
  • losing out on a bone at the base of the root
  • fluid discharge into the mouth

These situations are highly undesirable, and some patients tend to overlook due to the myths they think are true. We have listed the top 5 myths about the root canal, which will clear out your perspective on this aspect and let you embrace and accept the treatment.

1st Myth: Root canal treatment is painful

Truth: With the advent of modern technology and anesthetics, the process is not painful. The patients are given an injection of Local Anesthesia to numb the tooth. This doesn’t let you feel the pain.

2nd Myth: Root canal makes you sick

Truth: The thought that the process of a root canal is exposed to bacteria, makes people think that it can spread in other parts of the body and cause diseases. A root canal is designed to eliminate bacteria completely and is done to stop it from spreading further.

3rd Myth: Extracting the tooth is better than having a root canal

Truth: The possibility of retaining natural teeth is always preferable than having it removed. An artificial tooth can be implanted successfully, but it should only be done when necessary. Retaining and repairing the natural pearl-white tooth is always a better option.

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After having the three main myths about root canal cleared, there is absolutely no reason to avoid the treatment. If you have been recommended for a root canal, you should have the treatment done!

4th Myth: You need a root canal if there’s a pain in a tooth

Truth: If a tooth has died and doesn’t cause pain, you might need a root canal before finding it infected. There are many tests that include temperature test or percussion test, to reveal if a tooth is dead. However, the pain in the tooth doesn’t necessarily mean you need a root canal. It can be because of sensitivity, weakness, and other causes that heal with a medicinal cure.

Myth 5: Root canal is a temporary tooth fix

Truth: Root canal gives you lasting results. They relieve you from a toothache, preserve an affected tooth, and prevents the cavity from spreading. The final restoration or the crown exhibits a successful root canal. Well-fit and well-made crown with good oral health practices will keep you away from further dental issues.

Most common questions about root canal

The reason why people tend to believe all the above myths about a root canal is because they don’t have answers to many questions. The following will give you answers to some of the basic questions related to the root canal. These will further clear all your doubts:

1. What is root canal?

You might know that the root canal is some sort of dental treatment but might not know what it exactly is. Until you’re the one visiting the doctor or are about to receive the treatment, it is difficult to imagine what the experience is like.

A root canal is a process that medically removes a diseased or injured tooth. It is also called endodontic treatment and is the ideal way to relieve severe tooth pain. It helps you revive healthy teeth and gives you another chance to maintain the rest. A root canal helps protect your surrounding teeth from wear and tear.

2. Does root canal hurt?

No, a root canal is only done after a patient is given anesthesia. This makes it less painful compared to other dental treatments like fillings or removing a wisdom tooth. However, root canal usually leaves you with a sore, numbness, and causes discomfort that lasts for a few days.

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3. How to determine if you need a root canal?

You might need a root canal if you have a cracked tooth, injury, genetic problem, cavity, or issues related to the previous filling. You might consider going to a doctor for diagnosing the condition if you feel sensitivity after eating hot or cold food.  Sensitivity reflects that your teeth have bacteria and you need treatment.

4. Can you go to school/work after a root canal?

Root canal only leaves your mouth numb for a few hours. You can join school or work immediately after the treatment. Most physicians will ask you to not eat anything until the numbness goes. People who work in manual labor must protect their teeth.

5. How long does it take to do a root canal?

The amount of time you might take to have a root canal can differ from someone else’s treatment. A root canal takes around 90 minutes for each tooth. Most anterior teeth take about an hour, while the molars or premolars can take about two hours. The time you’d take for retreatment will differ and is pretty uncertain until your doctor gives you an estimate.

6. What is the cost of a root canal?

Root canal costs depend on insurance and can vary significantly according to the type of tooth. The average cost can be anywhere between $500 and $2000. The anterior tooth cost low while the molars and premolars can charge you around $1,000 per tooth.

Final thoughts

Many people have to face such dental problems at a really young age. Parents must help kids to practice good oral hygiene at home in order to prevent early dental treatments. Basic oral health practices like brushing twice a day, flossing often, and using mouthwash can do wonders. Moreover, if you can reduce the consumption of sugar in your diet, it will keep your teeth stay healthier and stronger. Finally, smoking is also one of the worst things you can do to your teeth, so keep away from that too.

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