PATIENT EDUCATION

Debunking the Myths Surrounding Root Canal Treatment

root canal treatment ok

Missing teeth can seem frustrating. However, the idea of root canals, a treatment that can save your tooth from needing an extraction or falling out, is a far worse idea for many. The term alone can incite anxiety and a plethora of misconceptions, as it is a dental procedure that has earned a reputation for being anything but a walk in the park. At 23rd Street Dental, we understand that root canal treatment in Oklahoma can be scary, but we are here to show that despite the common belief, the truth about root canals is far less painful and much more vital to your oral health than you might think. 

Together, we will break down and sift through the myths and the science, ensuring you’ll have the knowledge to make informed dental decisions by the end.

Myth 1: Root Canals are Painful

Root canal treatment is synonymous with excruciating pain. This is one of the most pervasive myths that surround root canals. The real story, however, is quite different. 

One of the significant points of root canal treatment is that you can experience the treatment with relatively little to no pain with advances in anesthetics and sedation methods. Dr. David Allen and Dr. Clinton Hyatt employ a variety of anesthetics to numb the treated thoroughly to ensure our patients are comfortable during their treatment. The goal is to make your root canal as comfortable as possible, with local anesthesia and sometimes even sedation used to keep you relaxed during the process.

Understanding the Source of the Pain

The pain usually associated with root canals is not from the procedure but primarily from the infection the root canal aims to alleviate. Once we remove the infected tissue and seal the tooth, the pain often subsides, leaving you with a restored tooth and a smile that’s as good as new.

Myth 2: Root Canals Cause Illness

There’s an age-old myth that root canals can lead to systemic health issues. This old myth comes from a research study done in the 1920s that has long been debunked and discredited. The source of the myth was a flawed study that suggested a link between root canal treatment and certain diseases. Thankfully, scientific advancements and extensive research have not been able to replicate these findings. 

Over the decades, studies have failed to find conclusive evidence linking root canals to systemic illnesses. More often than not, root canals are a vital part of the treatment for conditions that, if left untreated, could spread infection and lead to serious health problems. The procedure intends to remove the infection from the roots of a tooth, stemming further complications.

The Importance of Evidence-Based Dentistry

In dental medicine, it’s crucial to rely on evidence-based practice. Any medical intervention, including root canal treatment, evolves based on solid scientific research and proven results rather than anecdotal claims or outdated studies.

Myth 3: Extraction is Always Better than Root Canal Treatment

A common misconception is that having a tooth extracted rather than undergoing a root canal is better. The truth is that preserving your natural tooth whenever possible is in the best interest of your health. Preserving your natural teeth with treatments like a root canal (on top of proper oral care) offers an array of benefits, including:

  • Proper Bone Structure: Each of your teeth serves a purpose other than chewing and biting. They maintain the structure of your mouth, and losing a single tooth can set off a chain reaction of issues that affect your dental function and aesthetics. 
  • Avoid Bone Loss: When a tooth is extracted, neighboring teeth may shift, opposing teeth may extrude, and there is a significant potential for bone loss in the extraction area. 

Replacing Extracted Teeth

If a tooth is extracted and not replaced, it can lead to many problems, including misalignment of your bite, temporomandibular joint disorders, and dysphagia. If you opt for tooth extraction, dental implants, bridges, or dentures can be used to replace the missing tooth, but these come with their own considerations and require maintenance over time.

Myth 4: Root Canals Require Multiple Visits

It’s a common belief that a root canal can take multiple visits. While this might have been the case, technological and procedural improvements have significantly streamlined the process.

With technological advancements, our dentists, Dr. Allen and Dr. Hyatt, can perform a root canal procedure in one visit. Advanced imaging techniques, such as cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), allow for precise diagnosis and treatment planning, contributing to the procedure’s efficiency. Additionally, instrumentation and sealing materials have improved, leading to faster and more reliable root canal treatments.

Root Canal Treatment in Oklahoma

Though single-visit root canals are common, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your specific case may still require multiple visits to ensure the best outcome. With the care you will receive from our dentists and their team, you can expect only the best at 23rd Street Dental. Several myths surround root canal treatment, but the procedure itself is less scary than many have been led to believe. 
We strongly encourage patients to openly discuss any concerns about root canal treatment with Dr. Allen and Dr. Hyatt. The goal is to fully understand what the treatment entails and why it’s the best option for maintaining your dental health and overall well-being. Don’t allow myths to stand between you and the care your teeth might need. Your smile is worth it. Please schedule an appointment with us today!

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