Root Canals 101: What Do You Need To Know?
April 18, 2018
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Two words spoken in the dentist’s office can send a cold chill down anyone’s spine: root canal.


Visions of excruciating pain, an extended recovery period and persistent tooth problems can haunt anyone who needs a root canal procedure.


Fortunately, most of those myths simply aren’t true in the 21st century. Endodontic therapy, known casually as a “root canal”, has come a long way since the more primitive days of dentistry. With improvements in methods and tools, root canal procedures have become easier and less painful than ever before, with a higher rate of success.


Do you have a root canal scheduled? Are you worried about what it will entail?


We’re here to give you a root canal rundown.

Root Canal Myth: Root Canals Are Incredibly Painful

Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy can be relatively pain-free if performed by a trustworthy, professional dentist.


When you visit your dentist for a root canal treatment, the tooth and its surrounding area will be numbed with local anesthesia until you have very little pain sensitivity. The goal is for the root canal procedure to be as close to pain-free as possible--after all, a pain-free procedure is better for the patient and the dentist.


Following your root canal, your dentist can suggest over-the-counter pain relievers or give you a prescription for pain medication to ease your discomfort.


Often, the pain individuals experience following a root canal is related to tooth infection, rather than the procedure itself. To prevent infection following a root canal, make sure you brush twice per day, floss regularly and drink plenty of water as you heal.

Root Canal Myth: Most Root Canals Aren’t Successful

Many individuals believe that root canals are pointless because a tooth that requires a root canal will just need to be extracted eventually anyway.


This is actually not true.


The whole point of a root canal is to save an injured tooth by removing infected pulpal tissue and preventing further infection. Several studies have shown that root canals are overwhelmingly successful. Success rates are even higher for patients who adhere to good dental hygiene and care post-procedure.

Root Canal Myth: You Only Need Root Canal Therapy When A Tooth Is Painful

Many patients don’t seek dental care for damaged teeth if they aren’t in pain. Others refuse a root canal treatment because they think a pain-free tooth will eventually heal on its own.


However, a lack of pain doesn’t preclude the need for a root canal procedure. Oftentimes, a dead tooth will need root canal therapy to prevent a future infection.


Similarly, a painful tooth doesn’t always lead to a root canal. Your dentist can evaluate a problematic tooth with percussion testing or by checking your tooth’s pulp vitality. These findings will help determine whether or not you need a root canal treatment.

Have more questions about root canal therapy risks or misconceptions? Contact our office directly today or check our blog for regular updates!


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