These days, it’s becoming more and more important to be a skeptical reader when it comes to researching medical information online. While a lot of quality sites exist, some websites perpetuate misinformation, making it harder to “do your homework” before you speak with your general dentist or an endodontist about important dental procedures such as root canals.
Here are three common myths about root canals that are often found when doing an online search, as well as accurate information to counter each falsehood.
Busting the Top 3 Myths About Root Canals
Myth #1: Root canals are painful. It’s easy to see why this myth exists. Many patients who come in for a root canal are suffering from the pain of a damaged tooth, or have decay that is causing the pulp of the tooth to become infected. These conditions can be very uncomfortable and can endanger the natural tooth. However, root canal treatment typically relieves the pain caused by these conditions, and preserves the natural tooth, as well.
Myth #2: Root canals are only a temporary solution. While few dental treatments last a lifetime, if a root canal is done by a qualified endodontist, its benefits can last for many years, even decades. It’s important to have a restoration such as a crown placed over the root canal to protect it afterward and to continue a regular daily brushing and flossing routine to ensure the treated tooth remains strong.
Myth #3: Extractions are often a better choice than getting a root canal. Because of the difficulties in chewing and speaking that occur when one loses a natural tooth, and the danger of bone resorption if enough natural teeth are extracted, a root canal should at least be considered when a natural tooth is failing. Root canals have a success rate of 85 percent or more, and a tooth that’s had a root canal done can also receive a root canal retreatment or an apicoectomy if additional treatment is needed to stabilize and save the tooth.
“Root canals are a cost-effective, safe, comfortable way to preserve your natural teeth,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Learn the facts about the procedure and don’t hesitate to call a dental professional if you need a consultation.”