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Common Myths About Root Canals
No dental procedure has more myths surrounding it than root canals. It is the go-to treatment used to deal with an infected tooth or one with a damaged pulp chamber: the innermost layer of a tooth that contains the soft tissues.
When the pulp chamber of a tooth becomes damaged, the nerve and soft tissue inside are exposed to the bacteria in the mouth. These microorganisms eventually make their way there and infect the area. A tooth infection can spread to other parts of the body, where it turns into a life-threatening issue.
This article is all about destroying some of the common misconceptions about root canals. Let us jump right into some of these common myths:
Popular misconceptions about root canals
1. It is a very painful treatment
Wrong! There is nothing scary about a root canal unless the procedure is done without an anesthetic. For most patients, an anesthetic is used prior to the treatment that numbs the area. All the patient feels is pressure from the dentist working on the tooth and vibrations from some of the equipment used.
What is painful is living with an infected tooth. The pain can be very extreme, and it is what often pushes patients to seek treatment. The pain will only worsen until treatment is administered or until the tooth's nerves die. In the case of a dead tooth nerve, the pain will start once again when the infection reaches another area. If the patient still fails to get the necessary treatment, the infection can lead to an abscess, stroke or heart disease.
2. It takes more than one visit
Not true. A root canal is a straightforward procedure and is typically over within an hour. What often takes multiple visits is the installation of a crown. It is customary for dentists to protect a tooth with a crown after a root canal, so the patient might be fitted with a temporary crown and called back when a customized crown is ready. If the dentist decides a crown is not necessary, as is sometimes the case for front teeth, the entire procedure is completed during a single visit.
3. It kills the tooth
No, root canals save teeth, not kill them. Sure, the nerves and pulp are removed, but their main function is the growth and development of the tooth. Once a permanent tooth has fully erupted, the nerves are no longer an essential part.
4. Root canals do not have a high rate of success
A root canal has a very high rate of success as long as the patient follows up by taking good care of their mouth.
Take our word for it
Root canals are performed to improve the patient's health by removing harmful bacteria from a tooth with compromised nerves and blood vessels. It is a safe, effective and fast treatment that provides quick relief. Stop by our San Antonio office for a consultation.
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