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Root Canal Myths: Debunked

An x-ray highlighting the root of a tooth in red

Just the words “root canal” can be enough to make someone cringe. They’re not a favorite when it comes to dental procedures! But the reality is that much of the fear surrounding this procedure is based on history that simply aren’t true anymore – or never were true! Root canal myths can be a source of extreme anxiety. In the worst cases, they can make someone not visit a dentist when they need help the most!

Read on to learn the facts behind the myths about root canals.

Myth 1: Root Canal Procedures Are Excruciatingly Painful!

There’s truth to the myth that root canals are painful – but it’s an outdated truth. Many years ago, before the modern medicine, anesthetics and new technology, a root canal could be painful during the procedure and afterwards. People who haven’t had to have root canals often pass this myth down when they hear other people talk about it, due to hearing about it in their younger years.

In modern dentistry, a root canal is treatment is relatively painless! In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontists, “patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had root canal treatment.” The myth falls apart when you get the answer straight from root canal procedure patients – they’re not that bad!

Moreover, root canals actually relieve pain. If your dentist is recommending a root canal, you’re likely already experiencing inflammation issues or infections in your mouth. Those problems lead to on-going dull pain, sharp pains in your mouth when you eat or chew, or other nasty side-effects. Once your root canal procedure is complete, you’ll be glad you had it. Not only will it be easier than you think, you’ll walk away with a healthier mouth and no symptoms when you recover!

Myth 2: Root Canals Take Several Appointments to Complete

Another root canal myth is that it’s a process which will have you back at the dentist over and over. While it’s true that root canals can take more than one visit, it’s rare that you’ll be back more than a second time to complete the entire process.

Most root canals will be completed in just one visit. You may be there just a bit longer than your standard hygiene visit, but it’ll be over before you know it! If you are asked to come back in, it’s only to help provide you with the best care possible. Dentists know when the damage in your mouth is severe enough to need a second visit or more. This usually corresponds to issues with certain teeth that might lead to re-occurrence of issues without close monitoring and treatment.

Myth 3: You Only Need a Root Canal If You Experience Toothaches

Symptoms for all types of dental and other medical issues vary from person to person. There are certainly common symptoms for root canals, but that doesn’t mean you will only need one if you have a chronic toothache!

Some people who have infections or damage that result in a root canal may experience only mild irritation – and many often don’t have any symptoms at all! You should definitely reach out to us if you have a toothache, but keep an eye out for these symptoms too:

Of course, a toothache is often the symptom that brings most root canal patients into the dentist. Like other dental signs of tooth or gum damage, you may not recognize the problem until it’s reached a critical point. This is why regular dental visits are so important. Your dentist can identify the need for a root canal before you experience debilitating pain – or more likely, they’ll catch problems before they reach a point that a root canal is even necessary!

On the flip side, not every toothache is an indicator of a root canal problem, so don’t stress! If you experience any pain or discomfort in your mouth, contact Walbridge Dental so that we can check out the problem and get you fixed up in no time!

Myth 4: Extracting the Tooth Is a Simpler Alternative to a Root Canal

One common root canal myth we hear about is individuals suggesting (or even requesting!) a tooth extract over a root canal procedure. In most cases, this happens due to fear or anxiety about the pain of a root canal, but they may also feel like their tooth is too far gone to save.

The reality is that tooth extractions were once an over-performed solution for deep root damage. Modern medicine and techniques let us save teeth that may have once been recommended for extraction. Besides – your natural tooth is always the best thing for your mouth. While modern implants are incredible, we’d much prefer you keep your natural teeth (or as much of it as possible!)

Do You Have Dental Health Questions? Schedule an Appointment!

If you have dental health concerns or are just looking for information, the professionals at Walbridge Dental provide complete family dental care to families in the Millbury community. Contact us online to set up an appointment now or call us at 419-836-1033.

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