Are you in need of a root canal, but you’re afraid to have the procedure because of the negative things you’ve heard about it? There’s a good chance that what you’ve heard is only a collection of myths that have been completely debunked.
A root canal procedure is the process of curing an infected tooth. When the inside of a tooth, the soft tissue called the pulp, becomes infected, it can cause extreme pain and eventually lead to the loss of the tooth. A root canal is done to remove the infection within a tooth and fill the inside of it to relieve the pain and prevent it from being reinfected.
If you need to have a root canal done, don’t worry. We’ve debunked 3 of the most common myths about root canals.
Myth #1: Root Canals Are Painful.
Unfairly, having a root canal has become synonymous with something that is extremely unpleasant or painful. In actuality, a root canal is not any more painful during the procedure or afterwards than a run-of-the-mill cavity filling.
As with any dental procedure, local anesthesia can be used to numb the nerves that will be affected by the procedure. Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) can help to relax you if necessary. And patients who experience extreme anxiety regarding dental procedures can opt for general anesthesia in order to be “put to sleep” during the procedure.
The most important thing to remember is that the pain you may eventually experience as a result of a festering root canal is much worse than than the procedure itself. An infected tooth root can cause a throbbing, excruciating pain that will have you ready to undergo the procedure as soon as possible to make it stop.
Myth #2: You’re Better Off Just Having the Tooth Pulled.
A tooth that is in need of a root canal is not a hopeless tooth. It can be saved, which is worth it to avoid a myriad of dental problems. It may seem like a less expensive procedure, but it won’t be in the long run if you ever intend to replace the tooth.
Having a tooth pulled leaves a gap in between your otherwise healthy teeth, which can cause those teeth to shift out of alignment. You can also experience pain when chewing in the area of the missing tooth because your gums are exposed. Furthermore, the jaw bone that once held the tooth in place will start to resorb (or dissolve), which weakens your jaw.
If you choose to have the tooth pulled and years later you decide to replace it with an implant, there’s a chance that there won’t be enough jaw bone left to support it. In that case you’ll require a bone grafting procedure to fortify your jaw bone and encourage regrowth. Prevention is definitely the better choice in this case. Just get the root canal at the first sign that you need it.
Myth #3: The Procedure Causes Illness.
Somewhere along the line a myth was started that a root canal procedure can make you sick or cause cancer. Neither of these myths are true.
It was once believed that the bacteria that has infected the inside of the tooth will seep out during the root canal procedure and make you sick. This simply doesn’t happen. Studies have shown that more patients show an improvement in their health following a root canal procedure because the infection has been removed, thus reducing inflammation.
The same is true of the cancer myth. Many reputable studies have shown that there is absolutely no correlation between root canal procedures and cancer of any kind. However, there is a correlation between chronic inflammation and cancer, and an untreated root canal can definitely be a cause of inflammation. The root canal procedure eliminates the cause of the inflammation, thus reducing your chances of developing cancer.
Trust Your Root Canal to Tangredi Endodontics
The experts at Tangredi Endodontics have the expertise to make your root canal procedure as comfortable as possible. Dr. Tangredi and Dr. Salierno have decades of experience in the dental and endodontic fields. We strive to help you feel relaxed and at ease during each and every visit to our office. Call (516) 746-3636 today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment.