There are many root canal myths out there that make many patients avoid the treatment, which can lead to further dental problems. At Pope Dental, we want our Walnut Creek dental patients to know the truth about root canals which is why we have collected some of the most common root canal myths to debunk. Find out how root canal treatment can help save your tooth and even save you money in the long run. Read on to find out the truth behind root canal treatments and then give our dentist a call to schedule yours.

Root Canal Myth #1: You Only Need a Root Canal If You Have Tooth Pain

One of the most common reasons patients will need a root canal is because their tooth has died, usually due to nerve damage or an infected tooth from an untreated cavity. Many patients believe that if the tooth pain stops, your tooth is no longer saveable, or you have to be in a large amount of pain to be a candidate for root canals. In order to see if a root canal is the best option for your tooth, our Walnut Creek dentist will conduct several tests including a percussion and temperature test in addition to x-rays. These tests will conclude if the tooth is dead and when it’s best to receive a root canal. Regardless if you are in an immense amount of pain or not, it’s best to pay a visit to your dentist if you sense something is wrong with your tooth.

Root Canal Myth #2: Root Canal Treatment is Painful

This is probably one of the most common myths out there when it comes to root canals. Many patients are terrified of root canal treatment because they have heard nothing but bad things about it, like how painful it is. Our dentist wants patients to know that root canals are completely painless, it is the infection in the tooth that causes the pain. During your root canal procedure, you are given shots in your mouth so you do not feel anything during the procedure and you can even have some sedation dentistry to calm your nerves and help you relax during the procedure. Patients won’t feel any pain during the procedure and can only expect minor pain following that can be treated with over the counter pain medicine. If at any moment you are feeling pain during your root canal, tell our dentist immediately so he can give you more medicine. Once you are healed from the procedure, you won’t feel any more dental pain!

Root Canal Myth #3: Root Canals Cause Illnesses

This is one of the most common myths patients will find online when searching root canals. This myth was developed over a century ago due to research done in the 1920’s by Dr. Weston A. Price. He put out this misinformed study in order to promote extractions. There was no scientific evidence to support his claims of root canals causing illnesses. Root canals are completely safe and actually eliminate any bacteria from the infected tooth root. As a result, your oral health and overall health improve! Talk to your Walnut Creek dentist before you believe dental myths you read online.

Root Canal Myth #4: Root Canal Benefits are Temporary

With proper care, the benefits of root canal treatment can expect to last you a lifetime. The treatment involves removing the infected tooth with a restoration like a well fit crown. These dental crowns protect your tooth from any further damage and usually last a lifetime with good oral health care at home and with regular visits to your dentist. Results from your root canal will be long lasting and make more sense than an extraction and restorative treatment.

Root Canal Myth #5: Tooth Extractions are a Better Alternative to Root Canals

It is very rare that your dentist will ever recommend you have a tooth extracted unless it is a last resort. This is not the case. Although when you have a root canal, your tooth dies, we use composite fillings to fill it in and preserve it with a dental crown. Although your tooth is technically dead, it is still functional. You will chew and smile like normal. We do not advise any patients to have an extraction instead. When a tooth is extracted, there is no longer a root in your jaw, which then results in a loss of bone mass. This can only be replaced with a dental implant, which is a costly procedure and will add up to a lot more than a root canal. Unless you are on your way to having your entire jaw of teeth pulled to be fit for dentures, we recommend our patients preserve their teeth with root canals.

Root Canal Myth #6: Root Canals Require Several Appointments

At the most, your complete root canal procedure should not take more than two appointments. There are many factors that play into this. During your first appointment, our Walnut Creek dentist will evaluate the damage to your tooth. If it is severely infected, difficult to get to, or so severe it may require a visit to a root canal specialist or endodontist, then your treatment may take two appointments. The first appointment will consist of Dr. Pope removing the infected pulp from your tooth and then filling it with a composite filling. If it’s severe, this part may require two visits to complete. You will then be fitted with a temporary crown to wear until your permanent restoration returns from the lab. Your second appointment will consist of permanently installing the crown that will last you the rest of your life.

Schedule Your Root Canal Today

If you have heard from your dentist that you may benefit from root canal treatment, talk to us at Pope Dental about scheduling your root canal in Walnut Creek today. We will ensure you are completely comfortable throughout your entire appointment. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.