Last month, this blog covered the top myths surrounding the root canal process, and we emphasized the importance of being a savvy Internet consumer when it comes to evaluating medical information. One of the factors involved in myths about root canals spreading across the web happens when readers confuse a description of what root canals used to be like with what the process is generally like today. Here is a brief list of “truths” about what patients typically experience during today’s root canals to help you better understand what you would experience if you were to need a root canal.
Today’s Truths About Root Canals
- Today’s root canals relieve pain, rather than cause discomfort. Many root canals are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. Modern endodontic techniques and anesthetics keep patients comfortable during the procedure, and after a brief healing period, many patients report their tooth feeling better than ever.
- Today’s root canals are often the best way to save your natural tooth. Often, by the time a root canal is called for, the tooth is either experiencing infection or inflammation of the pulp, or the tooth has been damaged by a fracture. Root canals and other endodontic treatments can often preserve the natural tooth, avoiding the loss of function and appearance change that comes with having the tooth extracted.
- Today’s root canals can last a lifetime! While much depends on how well you care for your teeth and gums after the root canal is performed, if your mouth remains healthy, it is likely your natural tooth that’s been treated with a root canal can stick around as long as you do. It’s important to ensure the crown that’s placed on top of the treated tooth remains structurally sound, because it is your first line of defense against infection or decay that could compromise the tooth.
“It’s very important to get up-to-date information on root canals, since today’s procedure is unlike what your relatives or friends may have experienced a generation – or even a decade – ago,” says Dr. Susan L. Wood, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “The truth is, getting a root canal today is very likely to offer permanent relief from pain in your natural tooth that’s caused by infection or dental injury.”