Root canal therapy – a term most feared by majority of people suffering from dental trauma. Is it really that horrible? As per a survey done by the American Association of Endodontists, it was discovered that most people, who are terribly panicked with this procedure, attribute their cause of fear to someone else’s experiences, not their own.
Incomplete and distorted knowledge about root canal therapy prohibits patients from taking an educated and well informed decision about their teeth. It has made many patients to request to extract the tooth rather than retaining it through a root canal procedure.
Before coming to the facts about this procedure let’s have a look at the top root canal myths and understand the fact.
Discover the Myths:
Root Canal Treatment is a Painful Procedure
This myth is baseless. Practically, root canal procedure is an Endodontic surgerysuggested to eliminate the pain caused by inflaming pulp chamber or due to some dental infection. No doubt it would have been painful in the past when there was not a facility of anesthesia. With anesthesia, there is no pain felt during this procedure expect the uneasiness of a filling process.
Root Canal Eliminates the Pain Instantly
No doubt after the root canal procedure the patient feels major improvement. But the tooth remains sensitive for a few days post this endodontic treatment and it is recommended to use pain killers to subside it. Slight pain is followed particularly during chewing, which can last for some weeks. The pain would completely go after some weeks.
Root Canals Does Not Help
Albeit, nothing can replace your tooth entirely, a root canal if done properly is mostly successful. It has been noticed that in over 85% of cases, it can last for a lifetime.
In case a tooth gets infected after years of root canal it can be redone, which can last for life. In some cases where there is a severe tooth fracture, too deep root decay or severe bone loss is witnessed the dentist may be left with the option of extracting the affected tooth.
Tooth Remains Sensitive Post Root Canal
Persistent pain is not normal that last a few months post root canal. It could be those hidden canals that were not properly cleaned during the process, or the tooth might have been broken all the way from the root.
Under these circumstances the patient can be referred to licensed endodontist for root canals to receive proper advice and treatment.
Root Canal Eliminates the Tooth
In fact a root canal drains out the infection and damages pulp from the root, leaving it clean and disinfected from the inside and enable it to heal. It does not do any damage to the tooth. The blood vessels and tissues present in the pulp chamber are necessary for the development of healthy tooth during childhood and teenage stage.
In the later part of life, the function of these nerves is to send signals to the brain if something is not right with the tooth. It could be caries, infection, trauma or inflammation. Hence it can be considered that pain acts as an alarm to the individual when to seek medical help.
Root Canal is Lengthy Process
In today’s scenario, root canal procedure may require one to two hours if no complications are involved. At the same time the frequency of appointments may depend on the condition of the tooth and the associated canals.
If the infection is deep and severe, the endodontist may inject a drug inside to disinfect the internal tissues of the roots, and complete the root canal treatment after a few days. In case there is no complication involved the entire procedure can be wound up in a single visit.
Tooth is extracted in case of Unsuccessful Root Canal Procedure
Albeit, the success ratio of root canals is nearly 85%, if a root canal has been performed long back and the pain or infection comes back, the tooth can be retreated without resorting for tooth extraction.
In this process the root canal is re-cleaned from inside of the roots disinfecting each canal. Some teeth may require apectomy – a microsurgery for removing the surface of the root.
Reveal the Facts
Powerful Painkillers Are Required Post Root Canal Treatment
It is true to a considerable extent. The pain felt post root canal is due to the inflammatory tissues surrounding the tooth and this lasts for some time, not for a long time. It is often treated by prescribing strong and often common pain soother like anti-inflammatory drugs i.e. ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If the case is of more severe pain persisting for months post this procedure, you should consult your Endodontist for possible complications and further treatment.
Teeth having Root Canal May Require Crown
Root canal is done only on those teeth that have huge cavities or big fillings. Such tooth is often at risk of getting fractured. Due to this reason, your endodontist may advise placing a crown once the root canal is over to avoid cracks or fracture of the tooth post surgery.
It provides strength to the tooth avoiding any direct hit or infection to the tooth.
Nonetheless, root canal is an expensive treatment, it does save your tooth and help you retain your teeth and use it for the normal chewing process. But getting a root canal and dental crown is less expensive than a dental implant or bridge.
The costs of root canal entirely depend on how many canals a tooth has, whether the process is going to be done for the first time or is it a retreatment and of course the rapport of the root canal specialist.
There are several misconceptions prevailing with each treatment, which is widely the resultant of individual experience. Just don’t rely on what others have gone through, as each individual has a different situation and requirement. Just ensure if you are in need of root canal. To avoid this, it is suggested to visit your dentist at least once in a year and enjoy the healthy and pearly smile all your life.