5 Common Root Canal Myths You Need to Question
Root Canal Myths
Surveys have shown that most people who fear root canal therapy base their fear on third-party accounts, rather than their own experience. This “hearsay” may be the reason why so many root canal myths are believen to be true. This article debunks some of the most common root canal myths.
Myth 1: Several Appointments Are Needed to Complete Root Canal Therapy
Many people believe the misconception that you need multiple appointments with your dentist to complete root canal treatment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA, says that root canal therapy can be completed in just one or two visits. However, other visits may be needed if your case is so complicated that you need to be referred to an endodontist (root canal specialist).
Another reason why people may think that root canal therapy takes multiple appointments is that the tooth has to be restored after the therapy. This care differs from root canal therapy, and not everyone will require it to the same degree.
Myth 2: Root Canal Therapy Is Painful
People are also under the mistaken belief that root canal therapy causes excruciating pain. This myth is rooted in the distant past when many procedures would be done with limited sedation. However, dentistry today has several sedation methods available to ensure that you are pain-free.
In fact, dental phobia is so prevalent that sedation dentistry is available even during your routine visits to the dentist for cleanings and other basic procedures. The claim that one will experience a lot of pain when undergoing root canal therapy is therefore false.
Myth 3: Root Canal Therapy Triggers Illnesses
Another common root canal myths encountered by Shreveport’s dentists is that anyone who undergoes root canal therapy is at high risk of developing several diseases later, such as heart disease, arthritis or kidney disease.
People who believe this myth claim that root canal therapy doesn’t completely get rid of all the germs inside the affected tooth, so the residual bacteria grows and migrates to other parts of the body.
In reality, bacteria is always present in your mouth even if you don’t have any dental disease. Experienced dentists or endodontists assess the extent of the infection and remove all the affected pulp before sealing the tooth so that reinfection is prevented. The claim that you will later develop other diseases is therefore baseless.
Myth 4: It Is Better to Extract the Tooth Rather Than Undergo Root Canal Therapy
Dr. Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA, says that this myth is closely related to the one about the purported painful experience of root canal therapy. Some are convinced that it is better to have a tooth extracted instead of accepting a root canal.
We asked our friend, Dr. Taher Dhoon, a dentist in Greeley, CO, about his thoughts. Dr. Taher agreed that a tooth extraction should be the option of last resort after all other measures to save the tooth have failed. Dr. Taher says to remember that tooth extraction leaves a gap that affects you in several ways. He said that you may feel self-conscious and lose your ability to eat or speak properly. Besides, you will have to foot the cost of filling the gap with dental prosthetics, such as implant-supported restorations. Dr. Taher says this cost is higher than the cost of a root canal that allows you to keep your natural tooth.
Myth 5: The Results of Root Canals Don’t Last
Root canals deal with an infected tooth once and for all. A dentist in Shreveport will carefully remove all the infected sections of the pulp before placing a crown on the tooth. Consequently, you may never need to undergo a repeat root canal on that tooth. It simply isn’t correct for anyone to convince you that the outcomes of a root canal will be fleeting.
Many other root canal myths exist out there. The surest way to separate fact from myth is by asking your dentist in Shreveport first. That way you can get accurate information about any dental treatment you are considering. As the discussion above shows, there’s often little to tell a fact from a myth.