Fear. Anxiety. Regret. These are all feelings patients often get when they learn they have an infected root canal and require endodontic therapy, also known as root canal therapy. There are a lot of myths and half-truths about root canal therapy out there, some of which can be harmful to your health. Here at Pryor Family Dental, we decided to spread the truth about root canal therapy to better educate our patients and bust some of the long-standing myths about root canal therapy.
Myth 1: Root Canal Therapy is Painful
One of the biggest myths surrounding endodontic therapy is that the procedure itself is inherently painful. This has caused many people to put off getting root canal therapy performed, which can cause greater issues like the spread of the infection. The truth is, root canal therapy is not itself painful but rather its the infection inside the dental pulp that causes the pain.
Since many people believe the procedure itself is painful, many dentists offer sedatives to their root canal patients to help them relax before the procedure. Here at Pryor Family Dental, we offer nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, as our sedation dentistry method of choice.
Myth 2: Extraction is a Sound Alternative
Many patients believe that having the damaged tooth pulled, or extracted, is a better way to treat your root canal infection. The truth is that it is always best to save as much of your natural tooth as possible, and since extraction means removing the entire tooth, it is not an efficient alternative.
This myth stems from the fact that many people believe root canal therapy is simply a temporary fix. However, in the last ten to twenty years, the success rate of root canal therapies have improved dramatically. In fact, many root canal therapies are made to last a lifetime, making it a cost-effective way to save an infected tooth.
Myth 3: Root Canal Therapy causes Illnesses
Sometimes, patients who need a root canal research the procedure on the internet and find distressing information telling them that root canal therapy can lead to adverse health problems like kidney disease and heart disease. Sometimes, these websites recommend having the tooth extracted rather than to have root canal therapy performed. This, however, is actually the opposite of the truth.
Having a tooth extracted is a traumatic experience which allows more bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Root canal therapy, on the other hand, removes the infection from the dental pulp inside of the canal, decreasing your risk for a more serious infection.
If you are in need of root canal therapy, or any of the other services we offer here at Pryor Family Dental, you can contact us here or call us at 573.323.4287 to schedule an appointment.