Legendary Tales Of Root Canal Treatments
Alligators live in the sewers of New York City.
Elvis is still alive.
Root canals hurt.
At some point in your life, you may have heard, one, two, or all three of these urban legends. The main thing you should know is that none of them are true.
There is no alligator colony under the streets of the Big Apple. Elvis has most definitely “left the building.”
And root canal treatments will actually reduce your pain.
The myth that root canals hurt may have been keeping you or someone you know from coming to the dentist, but we also know it’s not the only myth surrounding root canals.
Today, the dentists at Hubbard & Leath Dental want to set the record straight for the sake of our patients in and around Rochester Hills, MI.
➤ Legend 1: Root Canals Are Painful.
Maybe we should blame the musical Little Shop of Horrors. You may recall the song, which Steve Martin performed in the movie, about being a dentist. In the song, Martin’s dentist revels in causing his patients pain, and in one scene, he treats a patient (played by Bill Murray) who is there to get a root canal.
We hope you understand that causing pain is that last thing dentists want to do. Relieving your pain is one of the main reasons we perform root canal treatments.
In many cases, patients wait until their toothache is too much to take anymore before getting help.
If you need a root canal, it’s because you have a bacterial infection that has reached the soft pulp on the inside of your tooth. Inside that pulp are nerves. If the infection reaches them, the pain is going to continue until you have them removed.
To alleviate your pain, the first thing we will do is make sure you don’t feel anything during your procedure. In some cases, this can be done with a local anesthetic.
For patients who are more worried about this, we can provide dental sedation. Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and oral conscious sedation are both have anesthetic qualities so you can sit through your procedure pain-free.
➤ Legend 2: You Should Have Your Tooth Pulled Instead Of Having A Root Canal.
This one is a little more complicated than the first one.
The reason is that sometimes you should have your tooth pulled, and other times you should have a root canal treatment.
Whenever we can, we want to keep your tooth in your mouth. This is why dentists perform fillings. This is why dentists make dental crowns, and it’s why dentists perform root canal treatments.
Keeping as much of your healthy tooth for as long as possible it good for your oral health. In the case of a root canal, we are removing the infected pulp from the inside of your tooth, along with the nerves and blood vessels. Once they are removed, we fill the tooth with a special material to reduce your risk of reinfection.
If the damage to your tooth is too severe, however, then a root canal may not be enough to remove the infection from your mouth. In those cases, we would recommend tooth extraction along with some form of tooth replacement.
➤ Legend 3: A Root Canal Treatment Will Make You Sick.
Unlike the first legend, many people do have an origin for this legend. Many people attribute this false belief to a dentist who practiced in the 1920s, nearly a century ago.
At the time, the dentist designed a poor study, which was actually criticized at the time it was published, that led him to this conclusion. Subsequent research has proven how wrong that dentist was, and of course, we have learned a lot more about why infections develop in the past 100 years.
Patients need root canals because they already have an infection in their mouths. The bacteria that causes this infection is the same bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Coincidentally, leaving those conditions untreated may be why you need a root canal treatment.
As part of your root canal, we will sanitize the inside of your infected tooth to kill any remaining bacteria that could let to future infections.
If you have a toothache, you need to get to Hubbard & Leath Dental as soon as you can. Better yet, come to our dentist office, located in Rochester Hills, MI, on a regular basis for routine cleanings and examinations. This reduces the chances that you will need a root canal treatment, and even if you do, we may be able to catch the problem before it causes any pain.