People will often clench their teeth in nervousness when someone says root canals. But why do the root canals scare people so much? Most people think that the root canal is a very painful treatment. However, with the advancement of dentistry and the dental technologies, the root canal procedures have changed considerably.
The root canal describes the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. Basically, the root canal treatment is basically a surgery done to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During the root canal surgery, the nerve and pulp of the infected tooth are removed and the tooth is cleaned and sealed from inside.
I wrote this article to make things clear about different types of myths surrounding the root canals and help the people to know the facts and what to expect if they ever need it.
The most common myths and facts about root canals are:
A root canal treatment is a painful procedure
False. A root canal does not cause pain. Instead, the root canals are done to relieve the pain caused by the inflammation of the pulp chamber or the dental infection. The belief that a root canal hurts is a thing of the past because in modern times, it uses anesthesia so this procedure is no more painful that doing a filling. In case, the dental infection is quite severe then the anesthesia may be more difficult to achieve and hence your dentist will prescribe you antibiotics before the root canal treatment. If a root canal seems quite complicated to achieve then your dentist will refer you to an endodontist, a colleague dentist who specializes in root canals.
A root canal removes the pain immediately after the procedure
False. Post a root canal procedure; the patient will feel significant improvement. But it is quite normal for the tooth to be sensitive the first few days post treatment. The use of painkillers can help. Some of you may experience mild pain, especially while chewing and the pain could last for a few weeks. The pain should disappear completely after that time.
Is it possible not to feel any pain at all after a root canal procedure? Absolutely, it is indeed possible and this depends on how complicated the treatment was and whether or not the tooth was infected before the treatment.
It is necessary to take powerful painkillers after a root canal
More or less it is true. The pain experienced by the patient after a root canal treatment is usually caused by the inflammation around the tooth. This pain will only last for a temporary amount of time. Often this inflammation is best treated with the common painkillers such as the anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen i.e. Motrin or Advil or with acetaminophen i.e. Tylenol.
In case of severe pain that continue for months after the root canal procedure has been done, it is recommended to consult your dentist or endodontist to find the possible complications.
Teeth undergoing root canal treatment often need a crown
True. Often the teeth which need a root canal treatment have very big cavities or big fillings. A tooth with a big filling is quite prone to be fractured. For this reason, the dentist will recommend the placement of a post and a crown after the procedure.
Some dentists will place a filling on a tooth right after the root canal procedure has been done. A crown is recommended to make the tooth stronger after the root canal treatment.
There are a number of different reasons such as an abscess, trauma from previous poorly performed dental procedures, deep cavities, cracked and damaged teeth for which a patient may need a root canal treatment. A root canal is carried out to repair the root of a tooth that has become infected or inflamed.
Root canal surgeries are highly successful, with more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth getting fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime. Since we have seen all the myths and facts about the root canal treatment, I hope that now the myths won’t stop you from getting this effective tooth-saving procedure.
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