Root canals are one of the most dreaded procedures in the dentist’s office--but do they really deserve this reputation?
Philip A. Levin, DDS is a Stamford endodontist committed to ensuring that your root canal is a straightforward and comfortable procedure. Let’s take a look at three common myths about root canals, and the truth about this routine treatment that saves over 15 million teeth every year.
Myth #1: A root canal is one of the most painful dental procedures.
Truth: Root canals are a routine procedure, and any discomfort is easily relieved by standard medications. You may have some sensitivity around the tooth for a few days, but it will fade quickly.
Your root canal should be a comfortable experience. For most people, it feels no worse than getting a standard filling. You may have existing pain from the infection, but anesthetics make the procedure itself painless.
Myth #2: Root canals cause systemic diseases.
Truth: There is no current evidence suggesting that root canals cause disease. Since the purpose of a root canal is to remove an existing infection in the tooth, it actually prevents disease from spreading to other areas of the body.
You may have heard claims that teeth treated with root canals can cause heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. These claims are based on outdated theories that have since been discredited.
The truth is that an untreated tooth can spread infection throughout the body and tax the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off a variety of illnesses. When a tooth is treated with root canal therapy, the infection is killed and the tooth is restored so it no longer creates a health risk.
Myth #3: Extraction is a safer alternative to a root canal.
Truth: Extraction is much more traumatic to the gums, jaw, and immune system. Whenever possible, saving the natural tooth with root canal therapy is preferable.
This belief is an extension of myth #2--some sources claim that the only way to prevent the spread of disease is to remove the tooth entirely. The truth is that, as with other areas of the body, the vast majority of infections can be treated without removing the affected body part.
Any time the natural teeth are missing, it creates an increased risk to your oral health. To minimize these risks, additional care and procedures are often necessary. Saving a natural tooth is preferable whenever possible to help maintain your dental health.
Stamford Dentist for Compassionate Root Canals
Root canals have a high success rate, and with proper dental care they usually last a lifetime. Many people have experienced firsthand how benign a root canal is, and have realized there was nothing to fear.
If you’ve been putting off root canal treatment, call Dr. Levin’s office at (203) 327-1613 for a friendly consultation. Dr. Levin performs root canals routinely, and will help make sure you have a comfortable and stress-free experience.