There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding root canals. More than any other kind of dental procedure, the root canal is the one that is the most feared. Many times the mere mention of the word is enough to send panic into the toughest of men. There are thousands of people a year who choose to avoid root canals regardless of the fact that they are in desperate need of one to repair a serious cavity or even relieve excruciating pain.
Why Would Someone Need a Root Canal?
There are a variety of reasons why someone may need a root canal procedure. Some of the most common reasons are deep cavities, trauma due to a badly performed dentist procedure, damaged or cracked teeth or an abscess. The purpose of a root canal is to repair a tooth or teeth that have become inflamed or infected.
Here are some misconceptions about root canals and the true root canal facts to combat those myths:
1. A Root Canal Is Painful
Rarely is the root canal procedure a painful one, there are modern anesthetics which prevent pain throughout a procedure. A root canal is actually designed to help relieve pain. If a serious cavity has developed or there is most likely a lot of pain around the are, a root canal is generally the best way to help take care of that pain.
There was a time when modern anesthetics were not available, that is where the misconception of their being pain during a root canal originated from. In this modern age, if root canal is performed correctly then the feeling is very similar to having a normal filling. The one difference is that the root canal procedure does take longer.
2. A Root Canal Is Very Expensive
This is not a myth that is easy to explain away being as procedure rates vary from dentist to dentist. There are some root canals that are expensive and others that are surprisingly cheap. It is not realistic to believe that all root canals are expensive, the price will really depend on the specialist or surgeon you choose to visit.
This type of procedure is generally more expensive than routine procedures such as simple fillings. It is a complex procedure that requires knowledge, skill and time. A root canal is however less expensive than a tooth extraction or replacement with a tailor made bridge. When all's said and done, if a root canal is going to help take care of an infection and relieve pain then it seems like a good investment.
3. The Pain In Your Tooth Will Immediately Disappear
Even though a root canal will help to relieve pain, no dental treatment can be done without expecting a bit of swelling and sensitivity in the area right after the procedure. If a dentist has to probe and poke around your mouth with needles and drills the you teeth and gums will definitely be a bit sore after. The pain should not last long or be extreme. Most of the times the minor pain associated with the root canal is gone after a couple of weeks.
After that you should have no pain at all being as the bacteria was removed and you no longer have an infection. Many time a dentist will prescribe a mild painkiller to help you cope with the after procedure pain and sensitivity.
4. A Root Canal Will Probably Fail
There may have been a time when there was some truth to this, that time however has passed. The lifetime rate of success nowadays in regards to how long a root canal will last is eighty five percent. Of course there are no guarantees that a problem may not arise later, perhaps a filling or crown may need to be replaced, however, the chances of that occurring are quite low.
If there is an infection in the root canal later down the line, it is generally a simple procedure for a dentist to repair. There are times however if there is a bad fracture or extreme decay that the damaged tooth may require an extraction. Keep in mind that if this is the case, your options are many.
5. Your Teeth Will Be Very Sensitive After
Once all of the swelling is gone and the soreness has subsided, the area around the tooth that was treated should not be in any pain. If there is pain, you need to immediately get in touch with your surgeon. Perhaps there are root canals that were concealed and still need to be removed. Maybe there is another issue that was not yet caught.
This is however very rare, unless it actually happens you should not worry about it. Keep in mind if anything does not feel right, all you need to do is go back to your dentist and see what would be the best way to proceed. Once again if the root is damaged beyond repair, it is likely that an extraction will be recommended.
These were just a few root canal facts. It is always best to really look into something before avoiding treatment based on mistaken information. It is however normal to feel a bit of apprehension about having a dental procedure done, you are not alone in feeling this way. Keep in mind that dentists are aware of this and understand you concern. It is important that you express your concerns to your dentist's, ask questions and really listen to the answers and advice and root canal facts that you are given. It may help save your mouth.