Misconceptions and Myths About Root Canals

When you think of a procedure like a root canal, a few things may appear in your mind. You may imagine that root canals are the be-all-end-all of dental surgeries, that you have ultimately failed the tooth in question, and that it will never be the same again. After all, once the root is gone, the tooth is a lost cause, isn’t it? Fortunately, these worries couldn’t be further from the truth! Like many dental procedures, root canals solve problems in a simple and effective way. Tooth decay and bacterial infection are halted, and whatever pain you may have felt from that tooth will be resolved.

This assurance does not solve the many myths and misconceptions people have about root canals. Here are just a few you may have or may have heard from others.

1. Root Canals Cause Even More Pain

If you are feeling the pressure and unbearable pain of a toothache, the last thing you want to consider is dental surgery. But root canals do not cause more pain. In fact, the whole purpose of the procedure is to stop your pain right at the root.

During the root canal, our dentist will numb the area completely, ensuring that you are comfortable and pain-free throughout the entire treatment. Our dentist will then remove the decay and infection that has affected the tooth by drilling down around the root and removing the infected pulp. Our dentist can then either seal the tooth or place a crown upon it, ensuring that the root canal is successful. When all is said and done, your tooth will be decay and pain-free.

2. Root Canals Should Be Avoided at All Costs

The misconception about root canals here is the idea that the procedure is irreversible and prone to failure. This is simply not true. Often, root canals are the least expensive and effective treatment for tooth pain and the bacterial infection associated with root decay.

The alternatives of removing the tooth entirely for a bridge or dental implant are options, but we would say those surgical alternatives are pretty drastic when you can save your natural tooth. As a minor note, root canals have no effect on the superstructure of the bone, whereas something like a permanent dental implant would. Indeed, there are other surgical procedures that are considerably more extreme.

3. A Root Canal Involves the Removal of the Entire Root

This is false. Our doctor takes great care to remove only the affected pulp of the interior of the tooth. If necessary, some of the root may be removed if the decay has reached deep enough. This is perhaps the most “mysterious” and frightening aspect of a root canal, but there is nothing to be worried about. Again, the purpose of a root canal is to save your natural tooth and eliminate any pain you are feeling.

4. If I Get a Root Canal, I’m Going to Lose the Tooth Anyway

This is a big myth. There is no need to worry about losing your tooth after a root canal because of the way a root canal is performed. After the removal of the infected pulp of the tooth, the interior is filled and capped to ensure no further decay. With proper dental hygiene after the root canal, you will have no worries about losing your tooth any more than you would about any other tooth.

If you have any questions about root canals or if you are feeling the pain of an infected tooth, please give Mesa Street Dental a call for root canals in El Paso, Texas. We also serve the surrounding areas to improve our patients’ dental health. We love to see bright and happy smiles! Schedule a free consultation today in our office or over the phone.