If you were recently informed that you need a root canal, chances are the minute you left your dentist’s office, you immediately began scouring the Internet for information on this well-known — but highly misunderstood — dental service. The Internet can be a great place to gather helpful information, but it is also plagued by unreliable sources and dangerously inaccurate information that can lead unknowing online researchers astray.
The following are common myths and misinformation about root canals and tooth pain that are prevalent online. While finding out you are in need of a root canal can be frightening, the more you know about this tooth-saving procedure and what it can do for your toothache and oral health, the calmer and more confident you will feel when you return to the dentist’s chair.
Myth #1: You only need a root canal if you are experiencing tooth pain.
Sometimes teeth that have died no longer cause pain and need to have a root canal in order to avoid becoming infected. We have several tests, including temperature testing and percussion testing, that allow us to know when a tooth has died and needs to receive a root canal.
Myth #2: Root canal treatment is painful.
A root canal relieves tooth pain associated with progressive and destructive decay that has reached the root of a tooth and caused infection. With the use of cutting-edge dental technology, along with anesthetics and sedation dentistry, having a root canal feels similar to receiving a filling and can be just as painless.
Myth #3: Root canals cause illness.
It’s hard to miss this myth if you are searching for information on root canals online. This myth is based on poorly designed and long-since debunked research that took place almost an entire century ago! In the 1920s, Dr. Weston A. Price was responsible for disseminating the results of this study and using them to promote extractions (the permanent removal of a tooth) — one of the most traumatic treatments available. There is no valid scientific evidence supporting Dr. Price’s research to date. Not only are root canals safe and effective, they eliminate bacteria from the infected roots of teeth, improving both your oral health and your overall health.
Myth #4: The benefits of root canal therapy are temporary.
Root canal results are long-lasting. They relieve patients’ toothaches and preserve the affected tooth indefinitely. The final restoration or crown is the key to successful results. A well-made and well-fit crown combined with good at-home oral health practices and routine visits to the dentist can ensure that your tooth lasts a lifetime.
Myth #5: Tooth extraction is a good alternative to root canals.
An extraction is a traumatic procedure that actually allows more bad bacteria to be introduced into the bloodstream. There is no adequate replacement for a natural tooth. A root canal with a good restoration is not only cost effective, it allows you to keep your natural tooth. Bridges, implants, and other replacement alternatives require additional treatments, more time in the chair, and elevated cost.
If you would like to find out more about root canal treatments or think you may need one, contact us at (740)374-7060 to set up an appointment.
You can also conveniently request an appointment online. We are looking forward to meeting you and your family!