There’s no shortage of misconceptions about root canals. Indeed, if you believe the rumors you might think having a root canal is on par with torture. Nothing could be further than the truth. Although getting a root canal may not be your preferred way to spend a couple of hours, science and technology have evolved to the point that root canals frankly aren’t much more inconvenient or any more painful than getting a filling. In this article, we will set the record straight, regarding three common myths about root canals.
Root Canal Myth: Having a Root Canal is Extremely Painful
The truth of the matter is, the pain you’re experiencing from a toothache is much worse than the mild discomfort you may feel during a root canal treatment. Thanks to powerful numbing agents which are used to anesthetize the affected tooth and the surrounding area, you aren’t likely to feel much of anything. If you’re particularly anxious about having a root canal, a mild sedative may also be used to help you to relax. If you do experience discomfort during a root canal, it’s likely just muscle strain from having your mouth open for the procedure.
After your root canal is complete you may have some tenderness around the tooth and gums. This is normal and should resolve easily with an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol. Applying an ice pack can also help with numbing and swelling.
Root Canal Myth: Removing The Tooth Is a Good Alternative to Having a Root Canal
This is an outright falsehood. Wherever possible, your natural teeth should be preserved. Pulling teeth that can be safely restored with a root canal is not only less beneficial to your overall oral health and hygiene, but it’s also liable to cost more in the long run.
If you don’t replace a missing tooth you’ll be at risk for the following conditions which can be expensive to treat:
- Shifting of nearby teeth to fill the gap
- Difficulty chewing
- Bone loss
Likewise, if you choose to have a tooth pulled and a bridge or implant placed in the space, you can expect to pay for the extraction and the replacement. Bridges are temporary fixes, so you’ll need to have them replaced eventually as well. Implants, which are currently the gold standard for tooth replacement can be extremely costly. Completing treatment for an extracted tooth can also take months.
By contrast, by having root canal therapy, you can restore and preserve your natural tooth in a single endodontic appointment. This helps to keep the cost down. If you have dental insurance, your plan will also probably cover a significant portion of the treatment. Then, you’ll simply need to return to your regular dentist to have a crown placed over your tooth.
Root Canal Myth: Root Canals Cause Cancer
This myth is particularly disturbing because it’s dangerous. The myth seems to have originated following the release of a documentary film where one man decides that his fatigue, anxiety, and depression are the result of a result canal he had years prior. He then argues that root canals also cause cancer.
Fortunately, there is no research linking root canals to cancer, and the film has been widely discredited. To be clear: root canals do not cause cancer. On the contrary, what the science does show is that individuals who take care of their teeth, and opt for endodontic treatments when necessary have a lower risk of certain cancers.
Root Canal Therapy in New Hampshire
At Elite Endodontics of NH, our practice is exclusively focused on the preservation of natural teeth. We embrace the latest technological advances in root canal therapy, including the use of GentleWave® Root Canal Therapy. If you’ve been referred for endodontic treatment for internal damage to a tooth or teeth, contact Elite Endodontics of NH today by calling 603-882-5455 or requesting an appointment online.