So, you have been having some issues with one of your teeth and have been informed that you need a root canal.
Unless you have had one performed before, it is likely that the mere mentioning of the phrase root canal will have you sweating or panicking; indeed, there are many myths surrounding this endodontic procedure, making it seem more intimidating than any dental treatment should be!
A root canal involves a member of our team drilling down into the pulp of your tooth (with localised anaesthetic!) and removing debris. If you have had an infection, this debris will likely be pus or bacteria. Once cleaned, the area is then packed with a filling agent, and a crown or filling is placed on top of the site.
At Glenside Dental, our team is familiar with this rather simple procedure and can provide you with a straightforward and comfortable procedure when it is being performed. We will aim to have the treatment completed in one appointment and will offer you any treatment or aftercare advice that you may need. Simple!
But what are some of the myths you may have heard surrounding root canals? Our general dentist in Glenside sheds some light onto the most persistent mistruths about endodontics.
If you have a crown, you will need a root canal
While a crown may be accompanied by a root canal, crowns are typically fitted when the tooth has broken down; while this may be due to decay (leading to an infection), it is not always the case that having a crown fitted will also require a root canal.
If our general dentist in Glenside thinks that you need both to preserve the tooth, we will aim to complete them both promptly.
Root canals are uncomfortable
Statistically, no, root canals are not uncomfortable.
Of course, you will need to have the tooth numbed to undertake the procedure, but once it is complete, there should be minimal discomfort. In fact, if you have recently had a dental infection, a root canal can alleviate discomfort.
If you have a root canal, your tooth will change colour
This is an old myth with very little truth behind it.
As root canals do not ‘kill’ the tooth, your tooth should not change colour. And, thanks to modern dental techniques, with the application of a porcelain crown or filling sealing your root canal, there will be no indication that it is there!
They kill the tooth they are performed on
Again, a root canal does not kill the tooth; the pulp is cleaned thoroughly but the roots and the nerve remain intact.
An extraction is a better option long-term
An extraction can lead to an unappealing gap in your smile and, once the gum has healed, can act as a magnet for bacteria to accumulate; and this is before dental implants or bridges enter the equation. Therefore, to preserve the aesthetics and the health of your mouth, it is better in the long-term to have a root canal fitted!
All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.