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Sifting Through the Facts and Fiction of Root Canal Treatment

August 4, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drthompson @ 8:12 pm
illustration of root canal

“Tornado,” “Freddy Krueger,” “murder hornets,” and “root canal.” These terms may bring about fright for many people. But one of these things is not like the others.

Why do root canals scare people so much? It is important to separate facts about root canal therapy from fiction to find out what exactly to expect as a dental patient. Freddy Krueger, on the other hand, is pretty cut-and-dried – he’s a bad guy.

What are Some Myths About Root Canal Treatment?

Before hitting on what is true about root canals, you should know what misconceptions are out there.

  • Root canal treatment is painful. Notonly is this false, but a root canal is performed to relieve pain caused by inflammation of the pulp chamber or a dental infection. With modern anesthesia, it is no more painful than a filling.
  • A root canal procedure will immediately remove pain. This positive myth is actually false, although a patient will feel significant improvement afterwards. There will still be some tooth sensitivity for a few days, and perhaps mild pain while chewing for a few weeks before it completely goes away.
  • Root canals do not work. A root canal that is done well with an appropriate filling or crown has a very high success rate. In about 85 percent of cases, treatments can last a lifetime. If a tooth becomes infected again years after a root canal, it can often be retreated.
  • Root canals are a lengthy process that require several appointments. These days, root canal treatment may take 1-2 hours if there are no complications.

Here are the Facts About Root Canals that You Should Know

As you determine if root canal treatment is right for you, these are some of the points to consider.

  • Teeth undergoing a root canal often need a dental crown. Teeth that need root canal treatment usually have very large cavities or large fillings. A tooth with a big filling is at greater risk of being fractured, so your dentist may recommend placement of a crown after the root canal procedure.
  • A root canal is a costly treatment. Although it is expensive, a root canal does save a tooth so that a person can still use it to maintain normal chewing function. Having a root canal and a dental crown remains less expensive than extracting a tooth and replacing it with a bridge or a dental implant.
  • It is necessary to take painkillers after a root canal. The pain is usually caused by inflammation around the tooth and is only temporary. This inflammation is best treated with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • If your toothache pain subsides, you could still need a root canal. Just because the pain seems to “go away” does not mean you won’t require root canal treatment. In fact, it could mean that you waited too long to see your dentist and the pulp in your tooth has died.

It’s not as if root canal treatment is entirely pros with zero cons, but it has a very high success rate with results that usually last a lifetime. Now that you are equipped with more facts about root canal therapy, you can discuss treatment options with your dentist if needed.

About the Author

John T. Thompson DDS and his team strive to offer the people of Corpus Christi family-friendly, compassionate, honest, and conservative dental care that exceeds even the highest expectations. Dr. Thompson was awarded Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry, an honor that places him in the top seven percent of all dentists. Whether you need root canal treatment, would like to ask a general dentistry question, or want to schedule an appointment for any dental needs, visit his website or call (361) 242-3151.

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