The possibility of getting a root canal can make anyone sweat. But what does it mean to need a root canal, and how bad is it really? There may be a lot of anxiety around this topic, but as you’ll learn below, getting a root canal is not all bad news. In fact, a root canal can help fortify the health of your teeth and gums for decades to come.
Myth One: a root canal can only come as a result of bad dental hygiene
It is true that dental hygiene plays a critical role in keeping healthy teeth and gums. A root canal procedure becomes necessary when there is decay and inflammation in the pulp of the tooth, both of which can be mitigated by good dental habits. But while cavities and gum disease can result in the need for a root canal, inflammation that results from a cracked or chipped tooth can also create a pathway for the root to become infected. Patients with excellent dental hygiene can end up needing a root canal, even at a young age.
Myth Two: a root canal procedure is painful
The advancement of modern technology has allowed the root canal procedure to become relatively pain-free. Your dentist uses local anesthesia to ensure you don’t feel any pain in the areas being operated on. Most people who get root canals experience little to no pain at all. The procedure restores your tooth to a healthy state, which will alleviate any pain or discomfort you felt from the diseased tooth.
Myth Three: a tooth that has had a root canal will always be a problem
The pulp of a tooth contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. These parts help a tooth develop and mature. But in an adult tooth, the enamel and dentin are able to receive sufficient nourishment from the tissue surrounding the tooth. This means that a tooth can remain healthy and strong even after a root canal procedure. You can help the restored tooth last a lifetime by maintaining healthy dental habits, such as daily flossing and brushing.
Myth Four: you are better off having the tooth pulled than getting a root canal
A root canal procedure is about saving your natural tooth instead of letting it go, and there are many good reasons to do so. Before the modern root canal procedure, the only option for addressing a diseased or dead tooth was to pull it out. The benefit of having a root canal is that you are able to restore the tooth to a healthy state and do not have to worry about replacing it. Your mouth is better off with a full set of teeth in it. Even if you have your tooth extracted, you will need to replace it to keep your teeth from shifting, such as a dental implant and crown. Tooth extraction recovery time is also longer, requires more care, and includes additional procedures to replace the tooth.