Have you recently been told by your dentist that you need a root canal treatment? If so, then you may be understandably nervous about the procedure—especially if you've never had one done before. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths out there about root canal treatments. By understanding the facts behind these myths, you can become better informed regarding your own oral health.
Myth 1: Root Canals Are Extremely Painful
Advancements in root canal treatment have made it so that root canal procedures are not painful. In fact, most patients don't feel a thing during their treatment. If you've ever had a cavity filled before, the sensations you'll experience during a root canal treatment are identical. In fact, root canal treatment is meant to relieve the pain caused by a severely decayed tooth.
Myth 2: Extraction Is Usually a Better Option
Typically, root canal treatment is proposed as an alternative to extracting a decayed tooth. In most cases, this procedure is a last-ditch effort to prevent extraction, so it's typically not recommended that you opt to have a tooth pulled instead. Extracting a tooth comes with its own inherent risks in addition to affecting the appearance of your smile.
Myth 3: Root Canal Treatment Is Too Risky
Generally, root canal treatments are extremely safe and come with minimal risk, so long as you take the necessary steps to protect and care for your teeth after the procedure. Specifically, be sure to follow your dentist's orders by avoiding certain foods (such as sticky and crunchy foods) immediately after your root canal and attend any necessary follow-up appointments at your dentist's office.
Myth 4: It's Okay to Put Off a Root Canal
Because root canals are usually recommended as a means of saving a tooth from needing to be completely extracted, it is never a good idea to delay a root canal unless recommended by your dentist. Instead, you should schedule your root canal treatment for as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you could end up needing a tooth extraction because the dentist will be unable to save your tooth otherwise.
While nobody wants to hear from their dentist that they need a root canal, the truth is that this procedure is now quite routine in the world of dentistry. Now that you understand what to expect from the treatment, hopefully you're better informed and less anxious about it.