A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat a diseased or infected tooth. There are multiple layers to your teeth, the hard, outer layer of enamel and dentin and the layer below known as pulp which houses blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
A root canal becomes necessary when the soft tissue layer of pulp becomes inflamed or infected due to deep decay. Leaving this untreated can make the infection worse and in some cases the tooth may actually need to be pulled out.
Root canals can seem scary, but there are several misconceptions about the treatment. Let’s take a look at the five most common myths surrounding root canals!
- Root canal treatment is painful
The treatment is virtually pain free, in fact it relieves pain as it removes the source of the pain: the pulp. Advancements in technology, equipment, and training
- A root canal procedure requires several visits to the dental clinic
Often, people think a tooth extraction might be better because it’s a faster option. Unfortunately, if you opt for extraction, you’re also going to need an implant, making an extraction a longer, more expensive process than the root canal procedure. A root canal takes between 1 and 3 dental visits, depending on the condition of the tooth.
- A root canal “kills” the tooth
A root canal cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth which allows it to heal. A root canal does not kill a tooth.
- A root canal is not very successful
This is wildly untrue. Root canal procedures have about a 95% success rate when treated by an endodontist. The tooth and surrounding gums need to be kept healthy with good oral hygiene in order for the natural tooth to last a lifetime without further treatment or therapy.
- Root canals cause illness
It was generally believed that a root canal procedure was the cause of other illnesses in the body. However, there is no valid scientific evidence that supports this myth. The truth? Root canals are performed to remove bad bacteria from the infected part of the mouth and work to prevent reinfection. A root canal treatment is designed to fight infection rather than cause it.
If you have any questions about root canal procedures or you think you may need a root canal, please call our office at (215) 643-0666. We would be happy to help!