Root canal pain is among the most feared and avoided by dental patients. Keep reading to discover common myths around root canal dangers.
It’s normal to be afraid of the dentist. In fact, more than 75 percent of American adults experience anxiety about their dental appointments.
Unfortunately, that anxiety often leads to some serious myths and misconceptions around common dental treatments.
There are many so-called root canal dangers people warn you about before an appointment, but that doesn’t mean there’s any truth to them. Here are some of the most common myths, debunked.
You Can’t Have a Root Canal If You’re Pregnant
Many medical procedures can’t happen if you’re pregnant. Medications can interfere with your baby’s development. A root canal isn’t one of them.
Pregnant women can have a root canal as long as they tell their dentist that they’re pregnant before the procedure. This way, they’ll be able to choose medications that won’t hurt the baby and can make sure any x-rays won’t interfere with the pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant, don’t put off a root canal if you need one.
Root Canal Pain Is the Worst!
The root canal procedure has a reputation for being incredibly painful. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, the throbbing pain that often tells you it’s time for a root canal is far worse!
When the treatment gets done by an experienced dentist, the root canal pain should be no more severe than what you experience during a filling. You’ll be able to feel the dentist working, but there shouldn’t be any intense pain as they work.
Before starting any work, your dentist will use numbing agents like Novocain to deaden the area. They’ll check with you to make sure you’re properly numbed up before they start.
It’s Better to Pull the Tooth Than to Get a Root Canal
Pulling a tooth is an alternative to a root canal, but it’s not necessarily better. When you pull a tooth, you need to replace it with an artificial tooth.
That artificial tooth will help you chew normally and keeps your jaw bone from deteriorating. However, it won’t ever work as well as your original tooth and it can cost hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket.
A root canal helps you keep your real tooth for as long as possible. That means less stress on your mouth and your wallet.
Root Canals Cause Serious Health Problems
Dental anxiety and phobias drive people to make some interesting claims. Many people believe that a root canal can cause serious diseases like heart issues, cancer, or sinus issues.
Modern root canals do nothing of the sort. In fact, it’s far worse to leave the infected tooth in place. That infection can spread and cause serious problems. Once it’s removed, you’ll feel better and likely be healthier for it.
Keep in mind that your mouth is full of bacteria and since a root canal is fairly invasive, that bacteria can spread. That’s why you should always follow your dentist’s recommendations to speed your recovery and prevent infection.
The Treated Tooth Won’t Last Long
Root canals work by removing the infected and damaged pulp inside the tooth. Once the pulp gets removed, you’re left with the hard exterior of your tooth—the part that you rely on for chewing.
It might seem like that hollow bit of tooth won’t last long, but it can and should with proper care. Your dentist will treat the tooth after the root canal to help strengthen it and make it as durable as possible.
As with any tooth, there’s a chance that it could crack or break in the future. However, many people end up keeping their regular teeth after the root canal for the rest of their lives.
You Don’t Need a Root Canal If Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt
In many cases, a severe toothache is the first indicator that you need to schedule an appointment for a root canal. However, that’s not always the case. Some people feel absolutely no discomfort from the infected tooth.
That lack of pain doesn’t mean that the tooth is in good shape. Unfortunately, the infection could kill the nerves inside the roots. When this happens, you won’t feel a thing even if there’s an active infection inside the roots of your tooth.
The best thing you can do is schedule regular appointments with your dentist and let them examine your teeth at least twice a year. If they recommend a root canal, they’re doing so for a reason: to keep your mouth healthy.
Root Canals Mean More Frequent Dental Appointments
Most teeth can be completely restored after a root canal in just one or two follow-up appointments. After the tooth gets restored, it shouldn’t require any more appointments than the rest of your teeth.
Just pay attention to the way your mouth feels. If it seems like you still have pain after a root canal, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
You’ll also want to stay on top of regular cleanings by scheduling appointments every six months or as recommended by your dentist.
This can make it seem like you’re going in more often, but instead, you’re just going in as often as you should.
Debunking Root Canal Dangers Once and for All
These commonly feared root canal dangers are not something you need to worry about. If you think there’s an infection in your tooth or feel that a cavity still hasn’t cleared up after a filling, don’t wait.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. A root canal isn’t something to feel scared of. It’s an effective treatment designed to keep your teeth healthy.
Check out our latest posts for more helpful insight on keeping your teeth healthy and sparkling.