A root canal is an invasive procedure that addresses severe tooth infections. If other dental procedures like a deep cleaning are unable to address tooth decay and inflammation, your dentist will perform a root canal to try and save your tooth. However, many people have misgivings about this procedure due to myths they hear in the media or from their friends and family.
Here are some common myths regarding root canals.
A Root Canal Is Painful
Whenever people hear of a root canal, they associate the treatment with excruciating pain. However, this pain is caused by the inflamed tooth and not the procedure. A tooth infection leaves you in pain and makes it difficult for you to chew or bite with the affected tooth. A root canal aims to minimize the pain on an infected tooth.
During the root canal procedure, the dentist will administer local anesthesia. This helps numb the tooth. The dentist can also provide medication to calm you down. For example, nitrous oxide is a light form of sedation that can be used during this procedure. Inhaling this gas will keep you pain-free throughout the treatment.
Tooth Extraction Is Better Than a Root Canal
Saving your tooth is often better than extracting it. However, many people believe it is better to have your tooth extracted than to go through a root canal. The truth is, many root-canal treated teeth will last at least as long as implants.
Moreover, replacing teeth with an implant or bridge takes time. In some cases, further procedures may have to be performed to supporting tissue and neighboring teeth. A root canal is quick and effective. Furthermore, there is no artificial tooth or fitting that can replace the appearance or function of your natural tooth.
The Tooth Roots or Tooth Will Be Removed
Many people who support a tooth extraction to a root canal believe that the latter involves removing the roots of the tooth or entire tooth, which is very painful. On the contrary, the purpose of a root canal is to save your tooth. Therefore, the procedure involves cleaning the canals of your tooth.
Inside your tooth, there is a pulp chamber. This is where the nerves start and extend out and down to each tooth root. During a root canal procedure, the dentist will try to reach the pulp, remove, disinfect, and seal the nerve passages. In this case, the roots and the tooth are left intact.