Root canal therapy is probably the most dreaded oral health procedure out there today. However, advancements in dentistry – in particular in regards to root canal therapy – have come a long way over the years. A root canal may be necessary if one or more of your teeth have been damaged or are badly infected. During this procedure your dentist will remove the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), clean and disinfect it, then fill and seal the area. While this may seem overly complicated, it doesn’t have to be. Root canal therapy is actually one of the most concise and relatively straightforward procedures that a person can undergo. So why are people so afraid of a root canal, you ask? According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Endodontists, most people fear the dentist because of another person’s experience. Coupled with inaccurate information about root canal therapy, it is no wonder why patients of all ages are terrified by even the mention of a root canal.
In order to help you better understand not only what this type of procedure entails, but why there is no need to be afraid of it, we are going to debunk some of the top myths about root canals.
Myth #1: Root Canal Therapy is Incredibly Painful
The number one misconception that people have about root canal therapy is that it is painful. However, root canal therapy is typically performed because a tooth is causing pain, whether from an infected pulp, broken tooth, dying nerve, or some other source. So while there is pain associated with a root canal, it is not from the procedure itself, but the damaged tooth. In actuality, root canal therapy is used to alleviate pain, not create more of it.
Myth #2: A Root Canal Means My Whole Tooth is Being Removed
Many people mistakenly believe that when the dentist says they need a root canal, it means they are having the roots of their tooth, or the entire tooth, removed. In actuality, a root canal aims to save the tooth, not remove it. During a root canal the canals are cleaned and shaped and the nerve tissue and pulp are removed. In some cases it may be necessary for some of the inside part of the root to be removed, but this is only the case if bacteria is present.
Myth #3: Tooth Extraction is a Smart Alternative to Root Canal Therapy
Building off of the previous myth, it is important to keep in mind that root canal therapy does not remove the whole tooth, therefore tooth extraction is not a good alternative. In fact, a tooth extraction is actually a much more intense experience than a root canal, as there is a chance bacteria will be introduced to the bloodstream. If someone tells you that you should just have a tooth extracted instead of a root canal, don’t believe them!
If you have any additional questions about root canal therapy in Las Colinas or would like any other myths debunked, please do not hesitate to contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have in order to make you more comfortable about Dr. Naik’s recommendations for your oral health needs.