Root Canals, Necessary But Not Evil

Root Canals, Necessary But Not Evil

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

A lot of people have strong feelings about root canals. Partly to blame are the misconceptions that swirl around the procedure. The way root canals are discussed, it’s as if the dental procedure is downright evil. But does it really deserve to be called evil? 

The reputation of root canals has been incrementally improving in recent years. A lot more Americans are less apprehensive about root canals today than they were, say, six years ago. If you are lying awake dreading root canal surgery, the best antidote to that is to arm yourself with more information about the procedure.

So, calm your fears and bear in mind that root canal treatment can effectively treat an infected tooth. Many patients who have undergone a root canal recall the pain of the infection more than the dental procedure itself.

What is a Root Canal? 

Day in and day out, there is so much that goes on inside your mouth. Your body is constantly battling bacteria even while you’re sleeping. Your mouth is a battlefield, and it is possible for bacteria to win sometimes. And when bacteria succeed, it gains access to the inside of your tooth, infecting your dental pulp. The infected tooth is a damaged tooth, and if left untreated, may lead to the development of disease or spread to your other teeth.

A root canal, also known as an endodontic treatment, is highly effective in saving infected or damaged teeth. The procedure involves the removal of the infected nerve and pulp and subsequent cleaning and sealing of the tooth. This procedure is highly effective and prevents the infection from spreading to the other teeth. It’s a form of dental damage control that is quick and effective and can relieve your pain.

Persistent Root Canal Myths

You might be wondering why, if it’s so quick and easy, then why all the horror stories? Root canal surgeries have come a long way, with improvements in the medication and equipment used. A root canal can be completed in just one or two sessions. A much scarier thought is losing your teeth or a worsening of your pain if you leave your damaged or diseased tooth untreated. 

Here are three myths about root canals that it’s time to debunk:

Myth #1: Root Canal Pain is Right Up There With Childbirth Pain

A root canal that is traumatizingly painful is a root canal that is administered by an inexperienced and possibly unqualified dentist. If you are in the right hands, you should not experience pain during the procedure. A board-certified dentist will offer you options for pain relief such as sedation and anesthesia. These days, it is possible to have a pain-free root canal.

Myth #2: Root Canals Weaken Teeth

Once your tooth is infected and damaged, no amount of medication or noninvasive procedures can bring it back to its formerly healthy state. If anything, after getting root canal surgery, you’ll once again have a healthy set of teeth. That’s because, after removing the infected part of the tooth, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and sealed and once again considered healthy.

The greater risk lies in not having a root canal because you risk infecting your other teeth. If you let an infection go untreated, you may need to have your infected tooth or teeth removed.

Myth #3: Root Canals Lead to Serious Health Problems

This makes no sense. If anything, the opposite is true: not having a root canal can cause an infection in a tooth to spread. If the infection gets into your bloodstream (through a cut inside your mouth, for example), it can cause problems elsewhere in the body. Studies have shown that it’s the tooth infection itself that makes you vulnerable to developing heart disease among other things.

Dentist in St. Paul, Minnesota 

An infected tooth requires immediate dental attention. If you are living with tooth pain and infection, a root canal performed by a board-certified dentist can save your tooth. 

Dr. Steven Hagerman of Hagerman Dental Care can diagnose and treat your infected tooth in just one visit. Since 1983, our dental team has helped many Minnesotans achieve bright, beautiful, and healthy smiles.

We warmly welcome you to our dental office in St. Paul, Minnesota, where you will receive the personalized attention and treatment you deserve. If you have any questions about our fast and effective root canal treatment, call Hagerman Dental Care at (651) 646-2392 or request an appointment now.