When most people hear the words “root canal,” they can’t help but cringe. In most cases, this is because the person doesn’t actually have a clear idea of what root canal therapy actually is. Compared to most other dental procedures, this one has the highest number of misconceptions by far. To help clear things up and show you that root canals are nothing to be afraid of, let’s bust five common root canal myths.
Myth #1: Root Canals Are Painful
Several decades ago, this rumor might have held water. However, dental technology and anesthetics have greatly evolved over the years. Nowadays, you can expect your root canal to be no more uncomfortable than a simple filling.
Myth #2: Root Canals Make You Sick
There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that root canals cause illness. In fact, treating an infected tooth with root canal therapy might actually reduce your risk of getting sick. Avoiding a root canal when you need one could cause the infection to spread to other teeth. It may even reach your bloodstream and travel to other areas of your body. For this reason, you should never put off getting a root canal when your dentist recommends one.
Myth #3: Getting a Crown Means That Tooth Will Eventually Need a Root Canal
Many people believe that a dental crown will damage a tooth so badly that it will end up needing a root canal later on. This is not inherently true. If a crowned tooth eventually does require a root canal, it could be because decay entered the tooth from underneath the crown.
Myth #4: If Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt, You Don’t Need a Root Canal
While an excruciating toothache is a common sign that you need a root canal, there are cases when a tooth can require a root canal while not hurting at all. In fact, this could be a sign that you need treatment as soon as possible. Sometimes, decay can damage a tooth so badly that its nerves can’t relay pain signals to the brain anymore. If this is the case, you’ll need a root canal right away to save your tooth. Otherwise, it might have to be extracted.
Myth #5: Pulling a Tooth Is Better Than Getting a Root Canal
Most dentists only extract a tooth as a last resort. While modern forms of tooth replacement, such as dental implants, are incredibly realistic, nothing beats your natural pearly whites. Plus, extracting and replacing a missing tooth is much more expensive than getting a root canal.
As you can see, root canals are not nearly as scary as some people make them out to be. If your dentist recently told you that you need a root canal, rest assured that you have nothing to fear.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury is a dentist in Tyler, TX who obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the Baylor College of Dentistry. He has been practicing for more than 40 years since then. In addition to maintaining active memberships in various professional organizations, he has achieved a Fellowship with the American College of Dentists. He has relieved countless patients’ tooth pain with root canal therapy. If you have a tooth that has been giving you trouble, find out if you need a root canal by contacting Stansbury Dental at (903) 561-1122.