Busting 3 Misconceptions About Root Canals

Infections of the tooth pulp are ill-famed for being excruciatingly painful. The infections often occur when tooth decay goes unchecked for too long, allowing bacteria to infiltrate tooth enamel and attack the sensitive nerve endings and blood vessels in your inner tooth.

To halt the pain and inflammation, dentists often perform a root canal to remove dead or diseased pulp and seal the tooth. This protects the remaining pulp from further sensitivity and restores the form and functionality of the tooth. While the procedure is fundamentally beneficial, it is often surrounded by many misconstrued facts that could affect your understanding of how a root canal works. Read on to learn 3 popular root canal misconceptions.

No pain, so no need for treatment

It is a common misconception that pain is the only symptom of an infected inner tooth. While some people experience sharp pain when their inner tooth has an inflammation, some may experience none, especially if their pulp is already dead. Other symptoms of an infection include gum pain and a bad taste in the mouth. As tooth decay progresses into the inner tooth, you may experience increased sensitivity while chewing and eating hot/cold foods. This discomfort could soon disappear when the tooth nerves die, leaving you with the impression that all is well in there.

However, it is important that you get a root canal even if you experience no pain on a tooth with extensive decay. Failure to get early treatment could result in the infection getting to the root, necessitating an extraction. An infection of the pulp could also reach the bloodstream, affecting the heart and kidneys.

Tooth extraction is better

Many folks often think that since their inner tooth is dead or dying, the tooth is already dead and is better off being pulled out entirely. However, this isn't true, as a root canal can save a tooth with dead pulp, ending the pain and restoring proper tooth function while helping you hold on to your natural tooth.

Removal of a natural tooth often means that you will likely need more dental work to fill the gap with an implant or dentures, costing you more precious time and money.

No follow-up visit is required

A follow-up visit is often needed after the tooth recovers from the root canal procedure so that the dentist can ensure the infected pulp is removed entirely and there is no risk of reinfection. You will also need to have a crown affixed on top of the tooth to restore its shape and protect it from further decay.

Call a dental clinic like Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS if you know it's time for your next check-up.