There are many misconceptions in people’s mind regarding root canal treatment. Whenever there is any need of getting a root canal therapy, many individuals get scared and think of loud drills and pain. But with modern dental technologies and inventions, this procedure has changed considerably. Lets discuss all the myths surrounding root canal therapy which stop you from getting this effective and successful tooth-saving procedure.
Myth 1- Root canal treatment is a painful procedure.
Fact – Pain is the most common apprehension that comes to people’s mind when they are told about the need of root canal treatment. However, the source of pain they feel is ongoing infection in the tooth, not the root canal treatment. RCT carried out during this pain causes a psychological impact on the patient and makes them think that the pain is due to the treatment rather than the disease. This procedure is done under local anesthesia and it itself eliminates that pain.With the latest technologies advancements and anesthetics, root canal treatment today is not painful.
Myth 2- A good alternative to root canal treatment is extraction (pulling the tooth).
Fact – Success rate of a properly performed root canal procedure is between 85% to 97%. Retaining the original natural tooth if possible, is the very best option. Although modern techniques have enabled us to replace the natural tooth with a bridge or an implant, but it needs more time in treatment and incure more financial loss to patients. It also results in further procedures to neighboring teeth and supporting tissue and therefore, nothing can be as good as the original tooth itself.
Myth 3: You only need a root canal treatment if you are experiencing tooth ache.
Fact – Sometimes teeth that are infected are not painful and have turned into chronic cases. But they need to be treated by root canal therapy in order to avoid the spread of infection in bone. With the help of several tests, including temperature testing and percussion testing, we can determine whether a tooth has become non vital/dead and needs to receive a root canal treatment.
Myth 4- Root canal procedure requires several visits to the dentist.
Fact – Earlier, root canal treatment required several visits to the dentist. However, in recent years, dental advancements have shortened this timeframe drastically. Dentists are now able to complete the procedure in a couple of hours. It also depends on the condition of patient’s tooth, its ongoing infection or any canal curvature/complication present if any. In case the root is severely infected, dentist will usually insert an anti microbial material in the canal system to promote healing and would eventually complete the treatment at a later date. If there is no serious infection or added complications, the root canal is likely to be completed within a single appointment. Again, your dentist should be able to give you a good idea of what will be required after thoroughly examining your oral health.
Myth 5- The benefits of root canal therapy are temporary.
Fact – Results of a properly done root canal treatment are long lasting. A well executed root canal procedure relieves patient’s pain and retains the tooth for the life time. However, post root canal restoration or crown (if advised) by the dentist is the key to the long term successful result. A good final crown combined with proper at home oral care of the tooth and routine dental visits ensures the life long retention of your tooth.
Myth 6: Root canal treatment causes illness.
Fact – You may find various information on the internet portals or elsewhere, stating that if you receive a root canal treatment you’re more likely to become ill or contract a disease in the future which is simply not true. No piece of scientific research has ever found a link between root canals and physical disease or sickness. Root canal filling materials which are being used are highly biocomaptible and being used after years of scientifically proven evidences. If you feel anxious or are in any doubt about getting a root canal treatment done, talk to your dentist about your apprehensions. It is their responsibility to dispel and unravel some of these harmful misconceptions and explain the entire procedure.
Myth 7: Pain after root canal treatment will vanish immediately.
Fact – During procedure, canals are cleared of the infection and patient will feel significant improvement. However, it is common to have some sensitivity in the initial few days after root canal therapy and patient might feel mild pain on chewing. The use of analgesics will help in these initial days. Post operative discomfort after root canal treatment also depends on the complexity of the case and pesence or absence of infection in the bone before treatment. However, pain or discomfort should completely disappear after initial healing period.
We should always respect what nature has given to us and root canal treatment is one of the treatments available which saves your natural tooth for the life time. Root canal treatment is helping patients all over the world in carrying out their day to day activity efficiently and maintain their natural smiles for many years.
One biggest myth is that the root canal treatment cost is high and hence people are afraid of visiting a dentist. However, root canal treatment is not expensive but ignorance is.