There are several misconceptions about root canals and pain. Root canals are treatments used to fix and save a tooth that has become infected or decayed. During the procedure, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
If you have tooth pain and may require a root canal, it’s important to consider getting information on all your options. Your dentist, root canal specialist, or endodontist can answer many of your questions. Here we describe three ideas surrounding root canals.
1. Root canals alleviate pain
It’s a common myth that root canal treatments are painful but the truth is that root canals don’t cause pain — they work to relieve it. A severe toothache caused by damaged tissues in the tooth is what generally causes people to go see their dentist. To relieve the pain, a root canal procedure is used to remove damaged tissue from the tooth.
Decades ago without the modern technologies that we have today, root canal treatment may have been painful. Today, thanks to advanced methods of treatment, a root canal is no more uncomfortable than getting a tooth filling. A recent survey demonstrated that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” compared to patients that have not had a root canal treatment.
2. Root canals don’t cause illness
The internet can be a place where long-dispelled theories can flourish. Many patients searching the internet for information may come across a false claim based on poorly-designed research by Dr. Weston A. Price. In the 1920’s Dr. Price advocated tooth extraction instead of root canals (endodontic treatment). However, there is no scientific evidence that links root canal-treated disease. The Journal of the American Dental Association reviewed Dr. Price’s research techniques and noted that they lacked many aspects of modern scientific research.
Root canals are a safe treatment designed to eliminate bacteria from an infected tooth canal and prevent reinfection while saving the natural tooth. More recent research from 2013 published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery found that patients with multiple endodontic treatments had reduced risk of cancer by 45%.
3. Saving your natural tooth is likely the best option
Nothing can fully replace your natural tooth. With natural teeth, you may be able to fully enjoy a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain a proper diet. Teeth that have been replaced artificially can sometimes cause people to avoid certain foods. Keeping your natural teeth is important in allowing you to enjoy the wide variety of foods needed to stay healthy.
Other disadvantages of implants or the placement of a bridge include possibly needing additional procedures for supporting tissues and adjacent teeth.
Healthy endodontically treated teeth help patients chew efficiently, maintain the natural appearance of a smile, and keep their teeth pain-free. Another great advantage of root canal treatments is that they have a high success rate and can even last a lifetime.
If you have questions or concerns, it is a good idea to speak with a dentist. If your North Vancouver dentist recommends extraction, ask if you may have the option of a root canal. Contact Peak Dental Arts for more information on root canals in North Vancouver.