Rooting Out The Myths: Why Getting A Root Canal Isn't So Scary After All

Posted on: 14 April 2016

If you listen to the myths spread about root canals, you might think that getting the common procedure is similar to getting tortured in a scene from Game of Thrones. However, after you separate myth from fact, you'll see that getting a root canal is not much different than having a cavity filled. In fact, you'll likely realize that the procedure isn't scary at all.

The Excruciating Pain Myth

The root canal procedure is closely associated with the giant myth that it's incredibly painful. You've likely heard horror stories for many years regarding the terrors of having a root canal performed. Fortunately, those myths are just that -- myths.

Thanks to the blissful numbing effects of anesthetics, root canal procedures are typically free of any type of pain or discomfort.

The only real discomfort comes from anxiety caused by the myth that the procedure is painful. Fortunately, anxiety treatments -- such as nitrous oxide -- are excellent at reducing fear. These treatment options are readily available and effective, so don't hesitate to let your dentist know when you're experiencing anxiety.

The Unnecessary Risk Myth

When hearing rumors about root canals, you may have been told that the procedure causes unnecessary risks. This is another troublesome myth that causes some individuals suffering from tooth infections to avoid getting the treatment they need.

When you look at the facts, the American Association of Endodontists states that over 41,000 root canals are performed every single day. That's a lot of root canals -- and a lot of patients helped by the safe (yet oftentimes misunderstood) procedure.

Furthermore, not getting a root canal when it's needed is risky. As an example, if your tooth is infected -- and it goes untreated for too long -- the infection may spread, causing you to lose some of your teeth. Even worse, your jaw may become infected, causing you to lose part of your jaw.

The Temporary Benefit Myth

Another common root canal myth is that the procedure produces short-term benefits only. This myth is usually attached to the idea that some people lose teeth even after having root canal procedures performed.

In reality, root canal procedures are performed to provide long-lasting benefits. When performed correctly, the procedure permanently removes the pain caused by the infection. Additionally, root canals preserve the health and function of teeth.

Keep in mind that -- despite the troublesome root canal myths frequently spread -- the procedure is often necessary. So don't avoid getting a root canal. The procedure may just save your tooth (and your jaw). For more information, talk with a general dentistry clinic near you.