One of the scariest dental procedures is the root canal treatment, and it’s like that for the wrong reasons. Many misconceptions and rumours are surrounding this treatment that makes it so scary for people, but the reality is much different. Here are the most popular myths about the root canal treatment, debunked.
Root Canal Treatment is Painful
The most popular myth is that the root canal treatment is painful. This notion was true decades ago, but with the advent of modern medicine and technology, the treatment is no longer painful. We use high-quality anesthetics to numb the tooth region before performing the treatment. Rest assured, the root canal treatment is no more painful than having a filling installed on your teeth.
You Have to Visit Your Dentist Multiple Times
The root canal treatment sounds complicated, and it is. During the treatment, the tooth’s infected pulp is extracted, and the root canal is cleaned. Yet, the treatment does not require many visits. Depending on the severity of the condition, the entire treatment can be addressed with only a couple of visits to the dentist’s office. The first sitting is where the canal is cleaned, and a temporary filling is placed to protect the root, and in the second visit, the permanent crown is placed to keep the tooth safe in the long run.
Root Canal Treatment Causes Cancer
The internet is a world of rumours and misconceptions. One of the most popular ones is that vaccines cause cancer, and its little cousin rumour is that the root canal treatment also causes cancer. The notion that the root canal treatment causes cancer was given birth to by Dr. Weston A. Price. In the 1920s, Dr. Price published poorly-designed research that claimed that root canal treatment caused cancer. He did this to promote tooth extraction treatment, one of the most traumatic treatments available back them.
His flawed research was debunked and dismissed long ago since scientists couldn’t find any evidence to support his claim. However, the rumour lives on around the dark corners of the internet. In reality, the root canal treatment is as safe as it can be. It eliminates bacteria from the infected roots of the tooth and improves your overall oral health. We also used the best in class sterilized equipment and anesthetics to ensure maximum safety.
The Entire Tooth is Removed in the Treatment
Another popular myth about the root canal treatment is that the entire tooth is removed from the root itself during this procedure. Now, that would be a tooth extraction treatment, and not a root canal one. During the root canal treatment, the pulp from within the infected tooth is removed using specialized tools. Then, the root of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, and the canal is shaped so that the filling can seal it appropriately. A temporary filling is placed for a short period until the permanent filling or crown is ready. Once it is prepared, it is placed on top of the tooth. The root canal treatment aims to eliminate bacteria and infection from the tooth’s pulp and not to get rid of the tooth entirely.
Pulling the Tooth is the Better Option
Many people believe that tooth extraction is better than undergoing a root canal treatment. This idea is mostly related to the notion that root canal treatment is painful or expensive. However, the root canal treatment is always the better option as you don’t have to lose your natural tooth that is integral to proper chewing and speech functions. As for the cost benefits, getting a tooth extracted may be cheaper, but replacing it with an implant, denture, or bridge can be really expensive. So, if you have the choice to choose between the root canal treatment and tooth extraction, go with the root canal treatment.
Pregnant Women Can’t Undergo the Treatment
This myth used to be true decades ago when the anesthetics and technology weren’t as advanced as they are today, posing a risk to both the mother and the baby. In today’s world, that is not true. The modern medicines, anesthetics, and equipment make the root canal treatment quite a safe procedure for pregnant women and cause no side effects or pain, so there’s no risk involved with this treatment.
Another reason why this myth is so popular is that the root canal treatment requires an x-ray. Yes, it requires an x-ray, but the radiation exposure is minimal and aimed at the mouth. The dental x-rays emit only 0.005 mSv of radiation, which is the same exposure you’d get during a short airplane flight. We also provide a lead apron to drape over the belly to protect the baby from stray x-rays. This means that pregnant women and their babies are safe from radiation harm.
Despite it being completely safe, it is always a good idea to discuss this with your obstetrician and also inform the dentist about your pregnancy during the onset of the procedure just ensure you’re the right candidate for the treatment.
You Don’t Need Root Canal If You Don’t Feel Any Pain
Many patients do not experience any pain in their teeth but may still have an infection within their root canals. Such infections usually show themselves in the form of pimple-like formations on the infected tooth. If you suffer the same painless infection, that does not mean that you don’t need a root canal treatment. The infection must be removed at the earliest before the bacteria get into your bloodstream and cause further damage to your health.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the Canadian Academy of Endodontics (CAE) advice caution against such misinformation. If you have any concerns about the root canal treatment, feel free to contact 67th Street Dental Clinic. We will be more than happy to address your concerns and treat your dental infections at the earliest.