Should you be scared of a root canal?
To help you find out whether it is reasonable for you to fear this dental procedure, let us separate fact from fiction.
Here are some myths and truths about root canals:
When people are told that they need a root canal, they usually think about pain.
However, the pain they feel is caused by an infection in the tooth, not by the root canal treatment. A root canal is done to eliminate that pain.
The root canal procedure itself is painless. Advancements in the field of endodontics, as well as the use of effective anesthetic agents, are responsible for making this procedure relatively less painful.
It must be noted that the objective of performing this procedure is to remove the infected pulp, which is the source of pain.
At times, people keep delaying the visit to the dentist, which causes severe infection. Though the intensity of pain is considerably reduced as the source of pain is removed, some pain may still be experienced as the effect of anesthesia wears off.
Moreover, the inflamed tissues at the end of the tooth are still in the process of healing. The tooth may feel more sensitive, especially if there was a severe infection prior to the procedure.
This discomfort can be relieved with the help of OTC painkillers or prescription medication. It’s best to avoid chewing on the affected tooth until the crown has been fitted.
Many people believe that once they have had root canal treatment, they will no longer feel pain in the treated tooth.
This, however, is incorrect. The tooth will no longer be sensitive to hot or cold food or beverages.
But for a few days after treatment, the area around the tooth can be sensitive. If this happens to you, your dentist can prescribe a medicine to reduce inflammation.
Myth 3: A Root Canal Means Removing the Tooth
The whole point of root canal therapy is to try to save a tooth, not to remove it.
Your tooth and roots are not removed. The canals are cleaned and shaped on the inside only. The nerve tissue and pulp are removed along with some of the inside part of the root to ensure all the bacteria have been removed.
Myth 4: A Root Canal is Not Required For a Dead Tooth
A tooth dies when the blood supply to the nerve inside the tooth root is cut off. This could occur due to trauma or decay.
Though one may think that there’s no need to treat a dead tooth as it can no longer cause pain or sensitivity to temperature changes, extracting the tooth or saving it through a root canal can prevent the bacteria from multiplying inside the dead tooth and causing an oral infection.
For a root canal performed by expert orthodontists, visit NYC Endodontics. We also treat cracked teeth.