5 Myths About Root Canals

Root canals have a negative reputation in society. But people don’t want to have root canals because of the many myths surrounding them. These fears are unfounded, thanks to modern endodontic tools and practices. These techniques make a root canal a safe, painless way to preserve a smile.

Refrain from believing in these 5 myths about root canals. Learn the truth today and allay your fears about this standard procedure.

1. Root Canals Fix All Toothaches

Some people avoid visiting the dentist because they falsely believe that all toothaches require root canals. Their fear of root canal therapy prevents them from getting regular dental care.

The truth is that toothaches may only need a basic filling instead of root canal therapy. Sometimes, teeth may be sensitive as a side effect of whitening treatment. This type of pain does not require root canal therapy to fix.

Additionally, not all teeth that need root canals create pain. Cracked teeth may need root canal treatment even if the tooth does not hurt.

Root canal therapy helps preserve a tooth by removing germs inside the canals and sealing off this area to prevent future infection. Therefore, you may need a root canal after any type of incident that exposes your tooth’s pulp to germs.

How do you know if you need a root canal for your toothache? See a dentist or endodontist for an exam.

2. Root Canals Cause Pain

No one likes to feel pain, especially in their mouth. Due to the numerous nerves in the head, neck, and mouth, a toothache can cause severe discomfort throughout the head.

Pain associated with root canal therapy is a primary anxiety-inducing concern for many. In a survey of people’s attitudes about root canal therapy, 51.56% feared that the procedure or healing would cause pain.

Root canal therapy today is usually completely painless. The endodontist always uses a numbing agent to ensure that you feel nothing in your mouth during the procedure.

Another concern related to people’s pain was the sensation of files working inside the tooth. Of those surveyed, 5.56% reported the feeling of files in their tooth as creating anxiety. However, even this does not have to happen when you get a root canal. With the use of the Gentlewave system at Southern Endodontic Specialists, you won’t even hear or feel tools moving inside your tooth during the root canal. This system uses only fluid and sound to clean the tooth. This keeps filing to a minimum.

Root canals eliminate tooth pain by taking out the inflamed components inside your tooth that caused the aching in the first place.

Yes, you may feel a little pain after the procedure once your local anesthesia wears off. This pain often lasts only one or two days. You likely won’t need prescriptions to control it, just over-the-counter pain medication, such as Advil or Tylenol.

Overall, even the healing process is less painful than the ache in your tooth before you had a root canal, making this procedure worthwhile.

3. Root Canals Require Sedation

When scheduling a root canal, you don’t need to bring someone to the endodontic clinic to drive you home when you get a root canal. In fact, this procedure does not require any sedation, and you can drive yourself home or to work after you finish.

Local anesthesia only impacts the nerves around the treated tooth. Therefore, you should not have any impairment in your ability to drive or work.

The only thing that you should avoid after a root canal is eating or chewing gum while your mouth still feels numb. If you try to chew anything while the anesthesia is in effect, you could bite your tongue or cheek.

4. Root Canals Require at Least Two Appointments

In the past, root canal therapy once required two appointments for the treatment alone. The process was inconvenient and needed more chair time at the endodontist.

Today, you will likely only need one appointment to get root canal treatment, especially if you visit an endodontic clinic that uses the Gentlewave system, such as Southern Endodontic Specialists. The Gentlewave system cuts the time required to thoroughly clean out the canals of the tooth, meaning that you can have their root canals done in one instead of two visits.

Modern methods save time on the procedure itself, but you will still require a pre-procedure exam and a follow-up visit with their endodontist. Plus, depending on the tooth treated, you might need to make another appointment with your dentist to have the tooth fitted with a dental crown.

Even with follow-up visits and dental crown fittings, you will need fewer total appointments for root canals today than in the past.

5. Root Canals Take Out the Roots

Despite the name, root canals do not remove the roots from the tooth. The roots are the portion of the tooth under the gum. Instead, endodontists clean out the canals that run inside the roots to remove infection from the tooth. During a root canal, an endodontist will take out the nerve and pulp, not the tooth roots. Thankfully, the tooth works just as well after a root canal as it did before, even without the material inside the canals.

After a root canal, you still have a fully functioning tooth that includes its roots. Getting to keep your tooth is the most significant benefit of choosing a root canal. Why wouldn’t you want a natural smile that includes all your teeth?

The only alternative is a dental extraction. That procedure does take out the roots and the rest of the tooth from your mouth, leaving you with a hole in your smile that you will need a dental implant or bridge to fill.

Get Expert Root Canal Therapy in the Tri-Parish Area at Southern Endodontic Specialists

Endodontists are the experts in root canals. You can get painless root canals at one of our Southern Endodontic Specialists’ locations in Houma and Thibodaux. Our doctors use the Gentlewave system to minimize complications, reduce treatment time, and improve patient experiences. Contact your closest location, Houma or Thibodaux, in the tri-parish area for an appointment with us.