The thought of a root canal may make seem fearful and many people may cringe when they hear the words ‘Root canal treatment’. When people are told that they need a root canal treatment, the first thing that usually comes to their mind is pain, however the exact opposite is true.
There are common misconceptions that endodontic treatments/ root canals, cause pain and/or illness and should be avoided at all costs. But reading the truth about these root canal myths can help you get a better sense of what having a root canal really is all about.
Let us read about the common myths about root canal treatment.
MYTH 1: ROOT CANAL TREATMENT IS VERY PAINFUL
This is the most common myth about root canal treatment. On the contrary, Root canal treatment is not a painful treatment, but is performed to relieve the pain present in the particular tooth. There can be excessive pain in the tooth of the patient due to the presence of an abscess below the tooth or exposure of the nerves of the tooth. Performing a root canal treatment relieves the patient from the pain.
It is seen that when a patient is in severe pain and discomfort in his teeth, then he gets nervous, and worries pop up in his mind. It is important to understand that root canal treatment is the procedure in which the patient’s root canal is cleaned, and the infected pulp is removed. It relieves you from the constant pain and discomfort.
Nowadays, advanced technology and highly effective anesthetics are used;the patients do not feel pain during their root canal treatment. Decades ago that may have been the case, but with modern technology and anesthetics you won’t experience any more pain than if you went to have a cavity filled.
MYTH 2: IT IS BETTER TO PULL A TOOTH THAN HAVE ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Saving your natural tooth is always the first and the best option. Nothing artificial can replace the look, function of a natural tooth and so it is important to always consider root canal treatment as a first option. Root canal treatment has a high success rate and many root canal-treated teeth last a lifetime.
Keeping your natural teeth for as long as possible is very important for proper eating and chewing. There are several options available for missing teeth, such as dentures, partial dentures, dental implants and fixed dental bridges, however, these alternatives can be much more expensive than saving your tooth with a root canal treatment. And the saying, ‘Nothing beats nature’, is so true.
Dentists usually recommend root canal treatment over extraction due to its long-term results. Therefore, instead of the extraction of the entire tooth and replacing it with a denture or dental implant, root canal treatment is advisable.
MYTH 3: ROOT CANAL TREATMENT REQUIRES SEVERAL VISITS TO THE DENTIST
Gone are the days when you had to visit your dentist several times to get your root canal treatment.Thanks to the advanced dental technology, now you can get your root canal treatment completed within just one appointment. The latest rotary instruments make the procedure efficient and quick. The time of the entire treatment is just 45-60 minutes, which makes the single sitting root canal treatment popular.
Most of the teeth can be treated in a single sitting. Teeth which have swelling or continuous pus discharge or a periapical infection may require 2-3 visits depending upon the amount of infection in the tooth.Root canal treatment’s success rates also largely depend on the expertise of the root canal specialist.
MYTH 4: TOOTH SENSITIVITY REMAINS EVEN AFTER THE TREATMENT
Tooth sensitivity is one of the common symptoms in a tooth which requires a root canal treatment. Once the root canal treatment is completed, the tooth sensitivity vanishes, and this provides relief to the patient. Some tenderness around the treated tooth is normal following a root canal, but it should only last a maximum of three to five days.
Sensitivity will not last any longer, especially to the hot and cold. There may be a period of post-op discomfort, but this is usually well-treated with the medication which your dentist will prescribe at the end of the treatment.
MYTH 5: IF THE TOOTH DOES NOT HURT, THERE IS NO NEED FOR A ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
In general, a throbbing toothache usually results in the need for root canal treatment; but many times a tooth can require root canal treatment when there is no pain present.This is similar to a silent heart attack. Sometimes the infection silently spreads into the nerve of the tooth and kills it. Then a Root Canal is certainly warranted. Dentists after taking x-rays can diagnose if the nerve/pulp has been infected or damaged. Sometimes in addition to the tooth xray vitality tests are needed to know the status of the nerve i.e. if it is dead or alive.
It is commonly seen that, sometimes teeth in which the nerve has died no longer cause pain; however a root canal is mandatory as it’s just a matter of time before the passive infection becomes active. Sometimes you may notice something that looks like a pimple on the gum near your damaged tooth, which is called a fistula. It is a tunnel of tissue that drains pus from an infection. When this happens, you have no pain because the fistula keeps pressure from building in the tissue and so root canal treatment becomes mandatory.
MYTH 6: THE BENEFITS OF ROOT CANAL TREATMENT ARE TEMPORARY
Root canal treatment results are permanent and long-lasting. It relieves patients’ toothaches and preserves the affected tooth indefinitely. After the treatment, the final restoration or crown is important for successful results. A well-made and well-fitted crown combined with good at-home oral health practices and routine visits to the dentist can ensure that your tooth will last a lifetime.
After having a root canal, it is extremely important to make a follow-up appointment with your dentist to have the tooth permanently restored. After the pulp of the tooth has been removed, the tooth can become very dry and brittle. Having a permanent restoration i.e. a crown/cap will help protect your tooth from fracturing.
MYTH 7: CROWNS CAUSE TEETH TO NEED ROOT CANAL TREATMENTS
Many people believe that having a crown/cap on a tooth means that the tooth will eventually need a root canal. In general, crowns do not cause the need for root canal therapy, if a crowned tooth does require a root canal, it could be that the tooth has abscessed or that decay has gotten underneath the crown and reached the pulp of the tooth and become infected. The cause could be decay, a chip or crack in the tooth, or an old or ill -fitting crown.
If infection of the nerve/pulp is left untreated it can cause inflammation and serious pain. It is true that in some situations it is necessary to get a root canal through a crowned tooth but this could be after any length of time after the crown is placed, say 5, 10, 20 years later.
If you are not maintaining proper oral hygiene and allowing plaque and bacteria to accumulate under the crown, it is one of the main reasons why tooth decay can get to the teeth under the crown. A crown fails because the decay affects the edge of the crown where it meets the gum line. The crown is totally resistant to decay but the tooth is not and therefore absorbs the plaque and bacteria that are accumulated. In such situations, the decay spreads rapidly below the crown leading to a root canal treatment.
So what does it take to get the smile of your dreams? For those who want a beautiful, sparkling smile the best is to consult cosmetic dentists. These cosmetic dentists will not only guide you the procedures needed to give you, your best smile ever, but will also explain why these procedures are needed and how much time will be needed. The smile designing cost depends on the condition of your tooth and the gums. The above mentioned procedures are the ones commonly used to design your smile. You may need some or all of the treatments to achieve the desired results.
We Care To Make You Smile.
Posted by: Dr Sonam