Although root canal treatment is a fairly standard procedure, myths persist that make many patients unnecessarily afraid of this tooth-saving treatment. This article will discuss the truth behind four of these myths:
Myth #1: Root canals are painful.
Fact: While root canals have a reputation for being painful, the procedure causes no more pain than getting a dental filling. In fact, with today's advanced technology and techniques, endodontists are able to perform root canal procedures with little to no discomfort for the patient.
The truth is that the pain you experience prior to root canal treatment is caused by an infection within the tooth. Your endodontist removes this infection during the root canal procedure and alleviates your pain.
As your endodontist performs your root canal procedure, you'll feel pressure and movement but no pain. It's common to experience minor jaw discomfort from having to keep your mouth open for the duration of the procedure. However, most root canal patients report that their procedure was far less scary than anticipated.
You may experience some soreness after the procedure, but this can generally be alleviated with over-the-counter medication. Call your endodontist's office if you experience severe or persistent pain after root canal treatment.
Myth #2: Root canals don't last.
Fact: Root canal treatment typically results in the elimination of pain and provides a 95% success rate. The results are generally long-lasting with proper care.
Occasionally, however, a tooth will have to be re-treated because of a new infection. Teeth that have received root canal treatment can break or chip under normal biting forces if they're not adequately protected with a crown, inlay, onlay, or filling after the procedure. Regular checkups will help ensure your ongoing dental health.
Talk to your endodontist about any questions or concerns about your root canal procedure.
Myth #3: Teeth requiring root canals are dead and should be extracted.
Fact: Whether a tooth requires a root canal procedure or extraction is influenced by several factors, including the extent of decay, the shape and position of the tooth, and its function in chewing.
The purpose of a root canal treatment is to save the natural tooth. It’s typically only when endodontic treatment is unsuccessful that extraction becomes necessary.
Myth #4: To save the tooth, you have to have a crown after root canal treatment.
Fact: A dental crown is often recommended following a root canal because it can help strengthen the tooth and protect it from chipping, cracking, or breaking.
A crown isn't always necessary. In some cases, a filling, inlay, or onlay may be able to restore your tooth. Your endodontist will examine your tooth and work with your dentist to determine the best treatment option for your needs.
Root Canal Treatment at Reston Endodontics
If you think you may need a root canal, schedule an appointment with your endodontist. Early treatment of dental problems can reduce the chance of serious discomfort or infection.
Reston Endodontics uses the latest diagnostic methods and radiographic imaging to determine the severity of the problem and whether root canal treatment is necessary.