December 13, 2018
Root canal. Does the very mention of the phrase inspire fear in you? Maybe you’ve heard horror stories that made you cringe. But the truth is that you don’t need to be afraid. In fact, if you suffer from a root canal infection—which results from bacteria infiltrating broken, cracked, or decayed teeth—you should want root canal therapy to alleviate the intense toothache you’re likely experiencing.
With so many myths out there about root canal therapy, it can be confusing and frightening to try to discern the facts. Well, here are some common myths and the truths that debunk them about getting a root canal in Ridgefield.
Myth: Root canal therapy is painful.
Many people associate pain with the thought of a root canal. In fact, 67% of Americans say that their fear of pain is what concerned them most about having root canal treatment. However, the procedure exists to relieve the pain and sensitivity of the infected tooth. The treatment itself causes no more pain than what you feel when you get a filling. For a few days after treatment, the area around the tooth may be sensitive, but that should eventually ease.
Myth: A root canal involves removing the tooth’s roots or the tooth completely.
Root canal therapy is meant to save your natural tooth, not remove it partially or completely. The decayed portion, the center of your tooth called the pulp, and the nerves are removed, and the remaining tooth is cleaned to make sure no more bacteria remain. Depending on the extent of the decay, you may need a crown put on your tooth.
Myth: If you need to have a root canal, you might as well get the whole tooth removed.
When you experience the pain common for those who need root canal therapy, it can feel like removing the whole tooth is the better option. However, there are certain advantages that keeping your natural teeth has over extraction, including maintaining the natural structure of your mouth and jaw. Extra space between teeth can lead to bone loss and teeth moving drastically to compensate. Additional restoration treatment is needed to make sure these unfortunate results don’t happen. Keep in mind that some of these restoration procedures, like bridges, may require more time in treatment and potentially additional procedures on the surrounding teeth. If the natural tooth can be saved, it is almost always better to save it rather than extract.
Also, the nerves in your natural teeth tell your brain how hard to bite down on something. With dental implants, you lose that ability. Most of the time, root canal therapy is successful, and the natural tooth can be saved and therefore should be saved.
Myth: If you’re not in pain, you don’t need a root canal.
Although pain is a common symptom of needing root canal therapy, it is not a requirement. You can have damaged or infected pulp without pain and still need a root canal. Using advanced diagnostic technology, your dentist will be able to see how extensive the decay is and whether a root canal is needed to treat the problem.
Hopefully this information has convinced you that you don’t have to be afraid of a root canal—even though you should do all you can to avoid needing one. Share this information with those you know, so we can get rid of these common myths. Feel free to contact your dentist if you have any other concerns or questions about root canal therapy or other dental treatment.
About the Author
At Ridgefield Perfect Smile Center, Dr. Dana Jones and Dr. Josephine Franzese and their team are completely dedicated to your comfort before and during any procedure they do. They provide such amenities as TVs, music, massage chairs, paraffin wax hand dips, hot towels, and blankets. Plus, they use the most up-to-date dental technology, including intraoral cameras, digital X-rays, and lasers for soft tissue procedures. You can contact them by calling (203) 438-8919 or clicking here.
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