Clearing up myths about root canal therapy, The truth about this safe, painless, tooth-preserving treatment
Root canal therapy is arguably among the most maligned medical treatments, let alone dental treatments! In fact, in an American Association of Endodontists survey from 2012, more respondents reported that they would rather speak publicly or have a job interview than undergo root canal treatment. Put another way, this treatment is as feared as being a passenger on a plane flying through a storm! As specialists in this non-surgical therapy and endodontic surgical treatments at Endodontic Associates of Georgia in Atlanta, we find this survey to be unfortunate. There are many myths at play, which have contributed to unfounded fears over this common, safe, painless, fast, and healthy approach to treating a severely damaged tooth.
Myth No. 1: Root canals are painful.
False! Also, the root canals themselves are a part of the tooth that is accessed during treatment. They contain blood vessels and nerves. When this nervy pulp is damaged, it can produce intense pain. This pain may be caused by dental decay, disease, or other trauma to the tooth. It is NOT caused by root canal therapy. Patients are often relieved to have root canal treatment because they can finally sleep through the night again. They can concentrate on work or school without being sidelined by severe and often persistent pain. They’re also able to enjoy their favorite foods again without pain. Once the inside of the tooth is accessed, the damaged tissue is removed, and the canals are cleaned, reshaped, and sealed off to prevent reinfection, painful pressure subsides, and healing begins.
Myth No. 2: Root canal therapy causes disease.
Absolutely untrue! By treating severe infections, we stop the spread of the disease to other parts of the face and body. We also prevent potentially lethal systemic infections. Contrary to outdated theories proposed at the dawn of modern medicine, root canal-treated teeth do not harbor harmful bacteria in dentinal tubules that “leak” into internal organs. Such falsehoods, partially summed up with the erroneous “focal infection theory,’ have been particularly dangerous. Many people through the years have believed them. Teeth that could have been preserved were pulled instead.
Myth No. 3: You should extract a “dead tooth” instead.
False! For starters, a mature tooth does not need the pulp tissue. It is structurally sound without it, and so no. Also, dental extractions or teeth removal should always be a last resort. There is no other type of tooth that is superior in form and function from the “real thing.”
Additionally, your teeth also support the structure of the surrounding bone in the jaw. Once teeth are lost, bone loss follows. This process can have destructive consequences on the appearance and shape of your face, as well as your ability to chew food and speak clearly and correctly.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as root canal treatment-related misconceptions go. We also encourage you to think of root canal therapy more in terms of an efficient “deep cleaning” for the inside of the tooth. It is also an affordable, tooth-preserving alternative to time-consuming and costly restorative treatments. Call Endodontic Associates of Georgia at (770) 954-8338 without delay. Our specialists, Drs Damaries Candelario-Soto, Yanina Figueroa, Julio Chinchilla, Joseph Yoo, and Shaletha Bolden, will get you out of pain and back on a healthy track in no time.