Root canal treatment is one of the most feared dental procedures, but a large part of that fear stems from the myths that abound about the treatment. If your dentist has suggested you need root canal treatment, take the time to educate yourself about the procedure so it does not seem so scary. A good way to start is by busting these four common myths.
1. Myth: Root Canal Treatment Hurts
Many people dread root canal treatment because they assume it is very painful. In reality, putting off the procedure is much more likely to lead to pain as decay spreads into the sensitive root of the tooth. The procedure itself is not painful at all, as dentists use local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and the area around it.
2. Myth: Root Canal Treatments Require Multiple Appointments
Most root canal treatments require only a single appointment, although sometimes you might need to come back for a second session. The length of the treatment depends on the severity of the infection inside the tooth and the awkwardness of the position. During the procedure, a dentist needs to drill an opening in the tooth so they can access the root, file away any decayed areas, clean the tooth root, and finally place a crown on top of the tooth to restore and protect it. In many cases, this is not a particularly lengthy process, taking only slightly longer than getting a dental filling.
3. Myth: Root Canal Treatment Is Expensive
Root canal treatment is almost always less expensive than the alternative, which is to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or dental bridge. Dentists vary in how much they charge for a root canal treatment, so it is important to ask around before you commit to a price. Some dentists offer payment plans so you can spread the cost of treatment over several months, which you might find easier to manage than an upfront payment.
4. Myth: Root Canal Treatment Only Delays Tooth Extraction
The aim of root canal treatment is to avoid needing to remove a tooth. Although some root canal treatments ultimately fail, the effects of many root canals last a lifetime. It is entirely possible that you will have no further problems with a tooth after your dentist repairs it via a root canal procedure, as long as you continue to brush and floss to keep the tooth clean.