A root canal surgery is a straight-forward dental procedure. The dentist extracts bacteria and decay from the soft core of the tooth and disinfects the area with antibiotics. They then fill the empty roots and seal the area to prevent any new decay creeping in. The tooth is normally more fragile after a root canal and needs to be covered with a crown. But the good news is you get to keep your tooth, and the crowned tooth can be matched exactly to your other teeth. But root canals have a bad rep. There’s a lot of false rumours circulating and nightmare stories, and we all have that friend that loves to reinforce the drama. So, we’re going to shatter some myths – brace yourself:
1. You’ll have to live at the dentists, root canals take forever!
Nope, not true. With today’s technology your procedure will be over in one or two visits.
2. Pregnant women can’t have root canals.
Yes they can. When you have a root canal you do have to have a small x ray, but it’s confined to the mouth, not the abdomen. You will still wear a lead apron, and there’s only a minimum amount of radiation.
3. Root canals hurt.
Honestly, they don’t. It’s the same level of discomfort you might get from having a filling. With modern technology and anaesthetics most of the discomfort comes from a patient’s anxiety, as there’s no actual pain.
4. Even with a root canal you’ll still lose your tooth.
There’s no reason that you can’t keep your tooth for the rest of your life. The root canal means the tooth is full restored. Good oral hygiene, regular dental visits all the routine stuff will keep that tooth safe and sound.
5. If the tooth doesn’t hurt, there’s no need for a root canal.
Really, only your dentist can judge that. Dentists are specially trained to see if the pulp in the tooth has been damaged or infected. They’ll want to move fast to save the tooth.
A root canal doesn’t involve any type of specific pain, and everyone feels better shortly after treatment. And you get to keep your teeth – win, win!
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