Root canals are one of the most dreaded procedures in the dental industry. There's really no reason for it, but many myths from early dentistry practices still linger today. We want to address some of these myths and give you the facts if you're facing root canal therapy.
1: Root Canals Are Painful
FALSE: This myth is likely a combination of factors. First, in the early days of modern dentistry, they didn't have access to the tools and technology that we have now that make root canal therapy a painless and much easier process. The truth is that with modern anesthesia and a range of state-of-the-art tools and materials, today’s root canals are easier, more accurate, and very safe.
The fact that you're usually in pain when you come in for your root canal appointment doesn't help. The intense pain associated with root canals comes not from the procedure itself, but from the conditions that lead you to need a root canal, like an abscessing tooth. The pain and swelling of an abscess can increase your stress and dread for a root canal, but rest assured when you leave our Hillsboro dental office you'll be feeling much better about root canals!
2: Root Canals Damage or Kill the Tooth
FALSE: Part of the process of a root canal, in fact the major function, is removal of the material in the soft pulp that makes up the center of your tooth. This includes the roots or nerves of the teeth, it's true. However, the nerves in your teeth only serve a vital function while your teeth are still growing in. Once your permanent teeth have all come in, the nerve only serves to sense hot and cold and to create pain, alerting you to a potential dental issue.
Having a root canal doesn't damage the tooth – in fact, root canals are often the only thing standing between you and tooth extraction once a tooth abscesses. Root canals serve to save teeth from extraction by removing infection from the heart of the tooth and preventing future infection from recurring by sealing off this vulnerable area.
3: Any Pain Goes Away As Soon As the Root Canal is Complete
FALSE: While root canal therapy will alleviate most of your pain, especially if you have an abscess, removing the root does not remove all of the pain. You will no longer have hot or cold sensitivity on the tooth, but the area around the root canal can be tender for a few days after your root canal, especially when you bite. This pain can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen.
However, the pain should not last very long. If you have pain that lasts more than a few days after your root canal therapy, or if the pain increases over time, contact your Hillsboro dentist to schedule a follow-up appointment.
You Don't Have to be Afraid of a Root Canal
We hope dispelling some of the myths surrounding root canal therapy has helped to ease your mind about choosing this safe, tooth-preserving treatment option. If you are in need of a root canal or have any other concerns about your dental health, don't hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment.