Few medical procedures are so dreaded that they become metaphors for pain and discomfort. The root canal is one of those, and just hearing the name can trigger visions of intense pain, sharp needles and whirring drills.
The root canal’s reputation is undeserved. In the modern era of dentistry, root canals are nothing to fear! They are incredibly routine procedures that have benefited from decades of technological and medical advancement. If a root canal is in your future, don’t fret! Here are some common myths about the procedure, busted.
Myth: Root Canals are Excruciatingly Painful
Given the nature of a root canal – drilling through a tooth and into the tender gums below – it’s easy to see why it could be painful. And in dental days of yore, they likely were! But those same old-school dentists also often lacked access to anesthesia or other cutting-edge equipment.
In the modern era, a root canal is typically no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. Given that root canals go miles towards saving a damaged tooth, you’ll likely be in less pain once the procedure is over.
Myth: You Only Need a Root Canal If You’re in Pain
Speaking of pain, a lot of folks consider a root canal a “last resort” of sorts, one that should only be attempted when symptoms reach a peak.
However, this isn’t true. There’s a lot going on under your tooth that you can’t see. If the nerve beneath your tooth dies, you may no longer feel pain there. But that dead nerve can easily become infected, and you may not feel pain until there is serious, lasting damage.
Myth: Tooth Extraction is Better Than a Root Canal
Put simply: no! No matter how good a dental implant is, nothing compares to the real thing, and most dentists seek to preserve the original tooth whenever possible. Natural teeth are more fundamentally more functional.
Aside from the practical implications, replacing extracted teeth can actually be more difficult than a root canal. The operation often requires more time in the dental chair, and replacement options like dentures and bridges can actually be more expensive than a root canal.
Do you need a root canal or other dental services? Klooster Family Dentistry provides quality, reliable dentistry to residents across the Triangle! Schedule your appointment today using our online scheduling!