We live in a time when everything around us seems to have a disposable option. Washing cloth diapers and cleaning china have been replaced with disposable diapers and paper plates. Along these same lines, many people may think that it’s no big deal to pull a tooth, but adult teeth aren’t as disposable as some people may think or claim.
Every single tooth that you have serves a specific purpose. Chewing, talking, smiling, maintaining bone levels, and preventing teeth from shifting are just a few of the essential functions that your teeth have.
It is wise to take all possible preventative measures for caring for your teeth, but sometimes that ship has sailed, and we find ourselves with decay or, even worse yet, an infection. If you find yourself in the dentist’s office and hear the word “infection,” don’t freak out. Chances are you’ve probably heard much about root canal treatments in your life, and you’re dreading the thought of one.
While it may be tempting to signal the dentist to give it a pull, please think again. Continue reading to find out the six most common myths about root canals.
1. Root Canals Are Painful
There is a preconceived feeling out there that root canal treatment is painful. This thought most likely developed years ago when anesthetics weren’t available, or maybe they were around, but they weren’t as effective as they are now. Today, endodontists are the anesthesia experts so much that most patients won’t experience any more discomfort during a root canal than that of getting a filling done.
Many patients with an infection are in a fair amount of pain because of the damage occurring in their tooth tissues. Following root canal therapy, these patients are often relieved to find that they no longer have tooth pain like they had before getting their root canal.
2. A Good Alternative To Root Canals Is Extraction
It may be tempting just to ask your dentist to give that infected tooth a yank and be done with it, but not so fast.
Remember how every tooth of yours has a purpose?
When you have a tooth extracted, you will need to think about the long-term effects of not having this tooth.
Will other teeth shift into their place?
Will you lose the necessary bone around this tooth?
Will people see this tooth, and if it is missing, will you feel self-conscious?
3. Root Canals Are Too Expensive
Perhaps, you didn’t like the last engine repair bill for your vehicle. Yet you got the work done because you knew how important it was to fix that leaky seal if you wanted your vehicle to continue taking you around town, right?
Root canals are much the same. If you want to keep your infected tooth, you’re going to have to invest in having the tooth cleaned out so that it can be used for the years to come.
It may feel like a significant investment, but truthfully, a root canal is a more affordable option. You are still keeping your natural tooth and replacing the tooth after removing it, which is usually a more expensive option.
4. A Root Canal Treatment Is A Lengthy Process That Requires Several Appointments
A root canal treatment is often a one-visit procedure. The appointment length varies based on what tooth is being worked on, and each office can vary a little bit, but most root canals can be performed in about an hour. Depending on the office, you may need to be seen for a short follow-up appointment following the procedure.
5. Most Root Canals Fail
Root canals are very effective in saving a tooth because they have a 95% success rate. Different factors play into the likelihood of success, and your dentist can evaluate your specific case to help you decide if a root canal would be a good option for saving your tooth.
6. A Tooth With A Root Canal Treatment That Fails Should Always Be Extracted
Root canals that fail do not all have to be extracted. If you have a root canal that was successfully done years ago and now it seems to be reinfected, the tooth can likely be retreated with another root canal. In this situation, your dentist or endodontist will be able to recommend the best treatment for you if you find yourself in this situation.
Moving forward, we hope that you don’t let the words “root canal treatment” scare you. Every day, dentists and endodontists (root canal specialists) save teeth and relieve pain from infections through root canal therapy. Don’t forget that there is no more affordable option when it comes to having teeth than caring for and keeping the ones that you have healthy.
Have additional questions about root canals? Please contact us today!