The thought of having a root canal may make you feel fearful or uneasy if you are not familiar with the treatment. There are common misconceptions that root canal treatment causes pain or illness and should be avoided. The exact opposite is true. Endodontic treatment is done to relieve pain and treat infection (illness) inside the tooth.
Root canal is painful.
Ages ago that may have been the case. But with innovations in dental technology and use of anesthetics you will not experience any more discomfort than if you went to have a cavity filled. Severe toothache is often caused by damaged tissues inside the tooth. This pain can be easily relieved when an endodontist removes infected damaged tissue through root canal treatment. Endodontists are experts in diagnosing and treating tooth-related pain.
In a recent survey, patients who have experienced root canal treatment were six more times likely to describe it as “painless” than those who have not had root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment causes illness.
Information that can be found on line or elsewhere, claiming that if you have a root canal procedure you are more likely to become ill or contract a disease in the future, is simply not true. This false claim was based on long-debunked and erroneous research conducted almost a century ago. Long before modern medicine understood the reasons for many diseases. There is no compelling scientific evidence linking root canal treatment to disease elsewhere in the body. A root canal is a safe and effective procedure, it saves you natural teeth.
As recently as 2013, research published in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, found that patients with multiple endodontic treatments had a 45 percent reduced risk of cancer.
A good alternative to root canal treatment is extraction.
Nothing feels or functions as good as your natural tooth. If you are having pain and think the tooth should be extracted, ask your dentist if root canal treatment is a viable option. Once the tooth is pulled, it has to be replaced to maintain a healthy bite. It is virtually impossible to replicate the look and feel of a natural tooth with a denture, bridge, or implant. Root canal therapy is a cost-effective way to maintain good oral health. Even though it seems like tooth extraction is a cheaper alternative, the cost of replacing the extracted tooth often outweighs the cost of a root canal and a crown. Endodontic treatment carries a very high success rate with many root canal-treated teeth lasting a lifetime.
Millions of healthy endodontically treated teeth serve patients all over the world, years and years after the treatment. Those healthy teeth are helping patients chew efficiently, maintain the natural appearance of their smiles and enhance their quality of life.