Root canals are used to treat an infected or diseased tooth. Behind the hardened enamel and dentin of a tooth is soft tissue that accommodates blood vessels. If that soft tissue becomes inflamed or infected due to decay that is too deep, a root canal procedure will be required. If this is left untreated, the infection can spread and require further interventions to the extent where the entire tooth may have to be removed.
While there is a lot that goes into a root canal procedure, there remains a lot of misinformation and myths being spread about what its purpose is, how the procedure is done and what the potential complications are. Here are some common myths about this treatment:
Myth #1: It Is Painful
While pain is subjective and unique to each individual, root canals should not cause any pain. At best, there may be slight discomfort. As a matter of fact, not only is it a pain-free procedure, it removes pain because the infected tissue that causes discomfort is being removed.
In addition, there have been great advances in anesthesia, equipment and training methods to ensure that the patient does not experience any pain. When technology was not as advanced, it could be an uncomfortable procedure. That is not the case in modern times.
Myth #2: Root Canals Cause Illness
Another common myth is that getting a root canal predisposes you to risk of future illness or disease. This is a false claim that has been debunked numerous times. The basis of this myth was a study conducted nearly a century ago with a very poor research framework. There has been no scientific or practical evidence to suggest that getting a root canal increases your risk for getting a disease.
Myth #3: Getting a Tooth Removed Is Better
Ideally, you will want to preserve your natural teeth because there is nothing to replicate the function or the look of your natural tooth. However, teeth treated with a root canal can last a lifetime with proper care. Merely forcing the tooth out with an implant may prolong the treatment time.
Myth #4: You Won't Feel Anything If Nerves Are Removed
Another common misconception is that once a root canal is completed, you will no longer feel pain in the treated tooth. The nerves of the tooth are indeed removed, but merely removing the nerves will not make the tooth immune to pain because sensitivity will still exist. Although in spite of that, the tooth won't be sensitive to extreme temperatures after a root canal.