If you tell someone you just had a root canal, you are not going to here, “Yes! Good for you!” Instead, you’ll get concerned looks and words of sympathy and encouragement. Why? Because there are so many myths around root canals. We’re here to tell you the truth.
What Is Endodontics?
In dentistry, endodontics is the specialty of working with dental pulp. Inside each tooth, you have pulp. This is where all of the blood vessels and nerve endings of the tooth can be found. If this gets infected or inflamed, it can cause a powerful toothache. It can even kill your tooth. That’s why endodontics is so important. Without healthy dental pulp, your tooth is in jeopardy.
Root Canal Truths
That’s where root canals come in. Dr. Hadley will make a small hole in your tooth, remove the problem in your pulp, and seal the tooth back up. However, there are many myths about this treatment. Here are six truths to set the record straight.
TRUTH: Saving your tooth is better than having a tooth extraction. In the past, a few dentists recommended extracting any tooth that has a problem with its dental pulp. They thought it was risky to remove part of the pulp, so it was better to just remove the whole thing. These days, you can probably see how that doesn’t make much sense. Still, you know how stubborn myths are. In the end, it’s always better to save your natural teeth when possible. While it’s true that some teeth are too damaged and a tooth extraction is the only choice left, root canals exist so you don’t have to do that.
TRUTH: Root canals are a one-and-done treatment. In a root canal, a dentist removes the parts of the dental pulp causing the problem. Almost always, that’s all you need. One root canal later, the problem is solved. However, there is a very low chance that not everything was removed that needed to. If you have an infection in your pulp, leaving even just a tiny amount can let the infection grow back. Again, that’s incredibly rare. But because it has happened, a myth started spreading that root canals have to be redone every few years. Not true. Almost always, root canals are only needed once.
TRUTH: There is no conspiracy and root canals do not cause cancer. Back in the 1920s, one dentist published a faulty study saying root canals could cause all kinds of sickness, including arthritis. It only took a few years to find out that study was way off. But you know how people are. Today, there’s a fringe group claiming a conspiracy exists to hide the dangers or root canals. They even think root canals cause cancer. How? They don’t know. But they’re still sure ….
The truth is the opposite. Root canals can remove infections, so they actually take away things that will cause sickness. There is no giant conspiracy to push root canals. They simply work.
TRUTH: Your pulp can get inflamed through accidents, not just bacteria. Many times, the reason behind your toothache is infected pulp. Bacteria that cause cavities can break through your enamel. They infect your dental pulp. Root canals are used to remove the infected parts so your tooth is healthy again. However, that’s not the only reason. An injury to a tooth could damage the pulp inside, creating inflammation. This might subside on its own, but it could also continue to hurt until removed.
Root canals are a great treatment whether you’re pulp is infected or inflamed. That’s because it corrects both problems so your tooth is pain-free and healthy again.
TRUTH: With local anesthetic, root canals can be painless. If you only take away one thing from this, here it is. Root canals are not painful. A long, long time ago, they probably were. Things have changed a lot since then. With the help of some local anesthetic and maybe dental sedation like nitrous oxide, you will most likely feel no pain at all. Some people feel a little discomfort the next day, but that’s just like being a little sore. All in all, root canals are no more painful than getting a filling.
Endodontics is about making sure your dental pulp is healthy. Root canals do just that. If you are ready to get a healthy tooth again, call us today at 509-591-0515.