The root canal has always been the most dreaded therapy among the usual dental treatments, but it has always been surrounded by many misconceptions. Here are ten truths about the therapy, to dispel myths and to help you appreciate the importance of root canals:
1. It can eliminate dental pain.
Infection causes pulp (the soft tissue inside teeth) to swell, which primarily irritates the nerves surrounding the tooth and causes pain. The purpose of root canal therapy is to remove those infected or abscessed pulp to eliminate the painful sensations.
2. It is often done with a dental crown or filling.
After the diseased tissue is removed and the teeth is cleaned, a dental filling will be used to seal the tooth, or a crown can be customized and fabricated on the impression to protect the healthy tissues.
3. It can save teeth.
Since you won’t have to lose your tooth to decay, injury, or gum disease, and the crown or filling artificially restores the integrity of the tooth, root canals essentially save teeth.
4. It can help restore function.
With whole teeth and no pain, you can regain the ease (and enjoyment) of chewing and biting, speaking, and other functions that get affected by your original dental problem.
5. Usually, it can be done in one to two appointments.
The length of the procedure and the number of visits you need will depend on your condition.
6. Anesthesia is used to avoid discomfort and pain during the procedure.
Contrary to the common false notion, the procedure isn’t painful because of the use of modern medicine.
7. Medications can be prescribed to manage discomfort and pain after the procedure.
Pain or discomfort, swelling, and numbness are a few expected symptoms after a root canal, which can be managed by painkillers and resolved after a couple of days.
8. Your dentist will inform you on what to expect after the therapy.
You will know when and how you’ll start feeling better and when to call your dentist for an emergency appointment.
9. Checkups are needed after the therapy.
From time to time, your dentist needs to assess the dental filling or cap, which could come loose due to pressure or over time, and ensure your overall dental health through follow-ups.
10. Dentists won’t prescribe root canals unless you need it.
Reputable dentists, like Dr. Trey Kenna of Downtown Dental in Greenville, SC, will only recommend the endodontic therapy if it’s appropriate for your condition. Otherwise, the dental professional will recommend preventative procedures, like cleanings and sealants (if there are no existing problems), or outline a different treatment plan to restore the health of your teeth and gums.
Root Canals, Mouth Healthy
Root Canal Treatment, WebMD
Root Canals, American Association of Endodontists