The words root canal might send shivers down your spine but there are a lot of misconceptions out there about this common dental procedure. A root canal may be something you picture as a nightmare but it is surprisingly less dramatic and painful than you imagine.
Root canals are performed because of a cracked or damaged tooth, deep cavities or because the root has become infected or inflamed. There are other reasons a root canal may be needed and a dentist is the best resource for determining if a filling is needed.
The number one myth about root canals is that they are painful. Root canals are not painful thanks to modern technology and anesthetics. A root canal is no more painful than a filling. The dentist will ensure the area is numb and relaxed before they start the root canal. The infection or bacteria is removed and then the enamel is filled or capped with a crown.
Another common myth is that you are better off having a tooth removed. Tooth extraction is considered a last resort for most Our natural teeth are the best option and a root canal allows you to keep your natural tooth and prevents you from needing a bridge or implant to fill the empty spot from the extracted tooth.
You may have heard that you only need a root canal if the tooth hurts. This is not true and a tooth may even stop hurting because it has died. The infection can still affect the bone structure and the root canal is important for your dental health and saving the bone structure and tooth structure.
Root canals do not have to require multiple visits. If the idea of spending more than one day in the dentist is deterring you you will be pleased to know that a root canal can be completed in a couple of hours. If the infection is very serious it may require more than one visit for a typical root canal can be completed in one visit.
Finally, you may have heard that infections are common after root canals. A re-infection can occur but is far from common. In these circumstances further treatment will be needed. Dentist use special materials to help reduce the likelihood your tooth becomes re-infected.
Root canals are not something to fear, they are a great way to save your tooth and keep you from experiencing more pain. If you struggle with dental anxiety your dentist can help.
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