A root canal is a dental procedure that is performed to save decaying, infected, or injured teeth. This is a common procedure for a cracked tooth or a deep cavity that often causes pain.
Like any invasive dental procedure, a root canal is done with anesthesia. You may feel mild discomfort for a few days around the mouth, but your dentist will give you medicine to help keep the pain to a minimum while you heal.
However, you might be alarmed and hesitant to undergo a root canal if you’ve read the claims that it causes cancer, among other health issues. What is the truth behind this?
The Root Canal Myth
There are myths about root canals that we’ll debunk here. Despite widespread misinformation, according to the American Association of Endodontists, root canal treatment does not cause any illnesses. There is no scientific proof to back up any claims linking root canals as the cause of illnesses or other health concerns.
The origin of this myth started in the 1920s when Dr. Weston Price, a dentist, spread his theory that some chronic diseases are caused by local infections. He believed that decayed or infected teeth which underwent a root canal procedure harbored harmful toxins, providing a breeding ground for various health conditions.
However, Price’s research is extremely unreliable because the conditions for his experiment were poorly controlled. Furthermore, other researchers have been unable to duplicate his results and confirm his theory.
Price’s theory has been disproven throughout the years by better-designed and well-researched tests. Nowadays, root canal treatment is a common and widely accepted dental practice that provides pain relief and fosters proper oral health.
Safety of Root Canals
Most dentists recommend root canal procedures because it is the safest and most effective way to treat infected teeth. A dentist or endodontist will drill into the center of the tooth’s root to clean out the infection and fill in the canals to preserve the tooth.
If your dentist recommends root canal treatment for your oral condition, there is no need for you to worry. The advancements in modern dentistry have made root canals safe and effective.
Risks of Avoiding Root Canal Treatment
The fear brought on by the long-standing myths about root canals can prevent people from getting the treatment their teeth need and cause health hazards. The risks that you will be taking if you choose not to treat your damaged tooth include tooth abscess, swelling, immense toothache, bone loss, or infection.
Bacteria can get into the pulp and cause tooth infection. This infection, if not treated, can spread and damage the bone that is holding your teeth in place. The infection can also spread to other tissues and organs in the body and lead to sepsis, which is a fatal infection-related condition.
Restorative Dentistry in St. Paul, MN
For your best smile and optimum oral care, it is essential to find the best dentist around who you can trust. If you have tooth decay and are considering undergoing root canal treatment, our team at Hagerman Dental Care is here to bring back the healthy, dazzling smile on your face.