Root Canals: Busting the Myths and Reducing the Fear
If you’re like many people, when you hear the words “root canal,” you can feel the strike of fear rush through your body. And while no one likely enjoys a root canal, the truth of the matter is that in most cases, the anticipation and pre-root canal anxiety are far worse than the actual experience. When performed properly, a root canal treatment is painless.
What Is a Root Canal?
Root canals have somehow received a bad rap. People hear the words and want to run in the other direction. In reality, root canals don’t cause pain – they relieve pain caused by an infection in your tooth.
First thing, the dentist numbs the entire area, so you’ll be feeling no pain. The root canal is actually the term dentists use to describe the inside of the tooth. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. This restores the tooth to a healthy status – root canal procedures are your friend, not your enemy.
What’s Truth and What’s Fiction When It Comes to Root Canals?
Let’s bust some myths about the poor root canal with the bad rap.
#1 – It’s better to extract the tooth than get a root canal.
While you’re welcome to walk around like one of the Beverly Hillbillies before they discovered “black gold, Texas tea,” it’s really not necessary, because this statement is false. It’s always better to save a tooth and restore it to health rather than simply remove it. Save your chompers!
#2 – It’s terribly painful.
We covered this right? We promise to do it correctly, and you won’t feel a thing. If you have any concerns afterward, we’re here to help you then, too. Scouts honor.
#3 – You don’t need a root canal if there is no pain.
This is also false. While you can sit around and wait to be howling in pain, it makes better sense to fix the problem before the pain sets in, don’t you think? Regular dental visits with x-rays can help uncover problems before they become painful.
#4 – Many root canals end badly for patients.
We’ve got to say this right away — FALSE. Root canal procedures have a 95 percent success rate! Your odds of a successful procedure far outweigh your odds of hitting the lottery jackpot. We say go for it. The odds are ever in your favor.
We at Austin Family Dentistry know that coming to the dentist ranks pretty low on your list of fun things to do, but we care about your oral health. We want to help you hang on to your pearly whites as long as you can. If you have questions or concerns (or pain and fear), call us. We’re here to talk you down from the ledge of dental fear and show you how pain free visits to the dentist can be. Root canals, regular cleanings and any other procedure you need done – we’ve got you covered.