If you have a dental infection, you may have been told you need a root canal treatment. But when you tell friends and family about your upcoming dental treatment, they may wince or try to warn you off.
Root canal treatments are often seen as being a long and painful procedure, one which, many people will say, damages your tooth. This is all very far from the truth.
There are lots of unhelpful root canal treatment myths. They cause fear and anxiety and can put you off getting essential dental care. Without treatment, you may face severe dental problems.
In this guide, we’ll debunk seven of the most common root canal treatment myths and give you a deeper insight into the actual procedure.
The most common criticism of root canal treatments is how painful the procedure supposedly is. Before your procedure, we’ll give you a local anaesthetic. This stops any pain in the treatment area and makes the whole process more comfortable.
Added to this, we use the latest techniques, which make the procedure more comfortable and efficient.
But aside from the pain management and techniques we use, the treatment is no more painful than getting a filling.
The pain associated with a dental infection is excruciating. As bacteria enter a damaged tooth, the living matter inside becomes infected, and inflammation occurs. Because every tooth has nerve endings inside, this swelling causes considerable pain.
You may have had a severe toothache for a while, ignoring it and managing it with anti-inflammatories or painkillers. After a while, the pain may subside. It’s easy to think the infection has passed.
If the pain has stopped, it’s a sign the tooth no longer has blood flowing to it. The infection can still cause damage, and treatment is still essential.
Root canal treatments remove infected matter from the inside of the tooth. After the bacteria has gone, we’ll fill inside using a material called gutta-percha before closing your tooth with a filling.
While a root canal treatment will take longer than an extraction, removing a tooth is something we’d only do as a last resort.
When you lose a tooth, it increases the risk of several problems like tooth decay, gum disease, dental drift, and jaw resorption.
Gaps left by missing teeth become havens for bacteria, while neighbouring teeth could slide into the space, and the jaw bone below could deteriorate, harming your facial structure.
If we treat your tooth early, we can completely save it. A loss of feeling usually occurs when the nerves inside your tooth have died.
Even if your tooth has died, we can still perform a root canal treatment. Bacteria will thrive in a dead tooth and put your whole smile at risk.
If you’re concerned a root canal treatment will take hours or involve multiple visits, don’t worry. These days, procedures don’t take long. The root canal treatment is usually performed in a single appointment.
We may suggest returning at a later date to have a crown fitted. Dental crowns protect your tooth and prevent recurrences of infection.
Although we will remove the diseased dental pulp from inside your tooth, it doesn’t mean your tooth won’t be healthy. A root canal treatment will not only save that tooth but will also prevent the infection from spreading.
Dental infections can cause abscesses below the root of the infected tooth. Neighbouring teeth can become infected, and the bacteria could harm your gums and jaws. In extreme cases, infections enter the blood and flow to the heart and other vital organs. When infections spread this far, they can become life-threatening.
A root canal treatment stops infection in its tracks and helps you ward off future problems. Although there are many unhelpful myths about the procedure, our team is on hand to discuss what to expect during your assessment and help put your mind at ease.
If you’re concerned you have a dental infection, call today and book an appointment.