If someone asked you which dental procedure scares you the most, which one would you choose? For most people, it’s probably a root canal. For some reason, common myths about root canals have prevailed for many years despite the truth about what they are and what they’re like.
If you’ve never had a root canal, it’s hard to know what to believe when you hear terrible things about them. Our team at Rod Gleave, DMD in Salt Lake City, UT want to set the record straight. Today, we’re helping you understand more about root canal therapy and why, despite their unfair reputation, they aren’t something to be feared.
Why Would You Need A Root Canal?
If you have an infected tooth, many times a root canal is just the right restorative solution. At any given moment, there is bacteria in your mouth. This may sound disturbing, but the bacteria in your mouth is only harmful when it has a chance to feed off of food debris and sugars left behind when you eat. If it’s not cleaned away, those food particles feed the bacteria and allow it to grow in hard to reach areas around your teeth and gums.
In most cases, your tooth enamel is there to protect that bacteria from getting inside and causing cavities, and in some cases, infection. But enamel can be weakened by acids or teeth can become cracked because of an injury. When those things happen, the bacteria has access to the inside of your tooth where it can infect the pulp. This would need to be corrected with a root canal.
If an infected tooth isn’t treated, it could pose serious threats to your oral and overall health. A root canal is a great way to get you out of pain and to save your tooth from having to be extracted.
What Happens During A Root Canal?
At Rod Gleave, DMD, we have a team of highly skilled professionals who are experienced in restorative dental procedures, and a root canal is one of them. When you trust your oral health to our specialists by scheduling routine dental checkups, we will give you a thorough examination using the latest in advanced technology. If we find that you have an infected tooth, our first priority will be to save that tooth with a root canal.
You’ll be numbed with local anesthetic before Dr. Gleave begins the procedure. If you need more help feeling calm and comfortable, we also offer sedation options. Be sure to talk to one of us about which option is right for you.
Once you’re comfortable, Dr. Gleave will carefully and effectively remove the infection and sterilize the area. It’s filled with a special material, and then it’s covered and protected with a natural-looking, tooth-colored dental crown.
Defying Common Myths About Root Canals
Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common myths surrounding this restorative dental procedure:
Root Canals Cause Health Problems
In the early part of the twentieth century, there was a study published by a dentist who was certain that the infection removed during root canal therapy could spread to the rest of your body and cause all kinds of problems with your overall health. But there really wasn’t much scientific research gathered, at the time or since, that prove this to be true. In fact, a root canal’s purpose is to remove infection from your body. So how can that be a bad thing?
Even if this one study were enough to provide compelling evidence of health risks tied to root canals, we’re talking about almost a hundred years ago. Because of the advances in dental technology over the last century, almost nothing is performed the way it used to be. So even if this myth were true at one time, it’s simply not true now.
Root Canals Cause You Pain
Probably the most popular among the myths about root canals, there is really no truth to it, at least not for root canals at our Salt Lake City dental office! Dr. Gleave is a highly trained professional who has the tools and the experience to treat and save your infected tooth in a way that’s virtually pain-free. Again, if you have a particularly hard time with dental anxiety, ask about our sedation options to help you.
Root Canals Cause Teeth To Become Weaker
It’s definitely not the root canal itself that weakens a tooth. An infection is what can weaken your tooth! That’s why it’s important to trust a team of professionals like you’ll find at Rod Gleave, DMD. We can gently remove the infection that’s causing you pain and protect the treated area with a durable, natural-looking dental crown. So your tooth will actually end up being much stronger after the procedure.