Forget campfire stories. Mention the words ‘root canal” to a friend or family member and watch their faces possibly blanch. This friend or relative may then go on and on about how horrible the experience was for them. Sometimes these stories seem scarier than anything that could spring from the imagination of horror writers. It may make one want to crawl under a blanket and never come out.
Rather than avoid the situation, it’s better to do some research and learn how a root canal can actually be quite easy for a patient.
Here are a few of the myths and how they have been debunked:
They Are Painful
There are several reasons for this one. In the past, due to technological limitations, they were painful. The anesthesia and the equipment were far from being as refined as they are in today’s current times. So when someone is recalling a root canal from the past, they are projecting those fears from a far different time.
Also, people may be misremembering what exactly was the part that was painful. It likely was what they were feeling before they sat in the dentist’s chair for the root canal. Nowadays, thanks to the anesthesia numbing the area, patients have said that the root canal felt no different than when they had a cavity filled.
They Are Time-Consuming
In the past, people might have had to make multiple appointments for root canals. That’s not the case anymore. Now they can be done in one or two visits. The dentist does have to take a few things into consideration when estimating how many appointments needed – how bad is the infection is, how difficult it will be to do the procedure, and if a specialist, known as an endodontist, will be needed.
The only thing that may take a bit is the restoration part with the crown. Dental technology has made even that wait shorter that in the past, especially with in-house dental labs able to use machines that can make the crowns to a precise size, which makes the fitting even easier. The days of having to have one office send molds to another and then have the crown shipped to them are largely over.
A root canal will not make people sick. That research was done nearly 100 years ago during a time when the true cause of illnesses was not known. Also, bacteria is in the mouth at all times, not just during dental procedures. The study was ultimately debunked. The technology used back then was considerably more primitive since the dental field was more for removing teeth than being preventative.
Also, one doesn’t actually have to have dire tooth pain to warrant a root canal. Sometimes there’s no pain and only a dentist finding a dead tooth during an exam would indicate the need for one. He or she does that several ways – testing the temperature of the tooth, doing percussion testing (tapping the teeth with an instrument) and using a pulp vitality machine – which tests the blood flow to a tooth.
It’s important that people learn that root canals are safe because if they ignore the pain for too long, possibly relying on over the counter painkillers to get by, then a really bad infection can worsen with alarming speed in and necessitate even more extensive surgery. Also, the lengthier the wait, there’s a greater chance of bacteria getting into the bloodstream and contribute to other conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
Once the root canal has been done, the patient will wind up wondering what the whole fuss was about. The crown will protect the dead tooth for a long time and life will go back to normal – and there will be a positive story to pass along.
The staff at US Dental Medical are well-equipped to ensure that the root canal process is an easy one. If you have any questions about any of this, they will be glad to discuss it during an appointment – call them at 614-252-3181.
US Dental and Medical Care
949 E Livingston Ave,
Columbus, OH 43205
Phone: (614) 252-3181