I’d Rather have a Root Canal than…

root-canalThis phrase is used all of the time by comedians and politicians to describe something painful. Root canal therapy itself is not painful and Dr Garrett will explain why:

“People call or come into our office in pain from an abscessed tooth. We usually diagnose and suggest the need for root canal treatment. The pain before the treatment is what people associate with the pain of root canal treatment, but the treatment actually relieves the pain”, according to Dr Garrett.

The inaccurate information about root canal therapy prevents patients from making an informed decision regarding their teeth. Many patients will go as far as requesting that a tooth is extracted, rather than save it with a root canal.

Before you believe the hype, take a look at the top root canal myths, and learn the truth for yourself.

Myth #1: Root canal therapy is painful!!!

Root canal therapy is used to alleviate pain. Most people who have root canal therapy admit they did not experience any pain during the appointment and felt better afterward.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, the perception that root canal therapy is painful stems from early treatment methods used to preform the procedure. In addition, if you are suffering from pain on the day of your appointment, your apprehension and fear may heighten the sensations you feel during the procedure.

Myth #2: Completing a Root Canal Requires Several Long Appointments

Root canal therapy may be completed in one to two appointments. Factors that determine the number of appointments necessary to complete a root canal include:
The extent of the infection, the difficulty of the root canal, and whether a patient should be referred to a specialist , called an endodontist.
Restoring the tooth after root canal therapy, with a crown, is necessary in order to ensure the tooth functions properly. The appointments necessary to completely restore the tooth, in essence, should not be considered part of the root canal process. Often the tooth requires a full coverage crown after a root canal and although is considered a separate procedure, can often be accomplished at the time of the root canal.

Myth #3: Teeth Need to Hurt Before Root Canal Therapy Becomes Necessary

This is one thing that I hear often from patients. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This might apply to your car or your golf game, but teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. In fact, teeth that are already dead may require root canal therapy to prevent the tooth from becoming infected. And when the tooth becomes infected (swollen), well that is when root canal therapy can be uncomfortable to the patient.
Dr Garrett will examine your teeth thoroughly during your regular check-up. It is usually during this routine appointment where she will discover a tooth that has died or is on its way. 

Myth #4: The Benefits of Root Canal Therapy Don’t Last Very Long

A common misconception is that the benefits of root canal therapy don’t last very long after the procedure has been completed. This myth originated after patients experienced their tooth breaking months after a root canal was performed on their tooth.
When the nerve is removed from the inside of the tooth, the blood supply is eliminated from inside the tooth. The tooth eventually becomes brittle, and depending on the size of the filling used to close the tooth after the root canal, the forces from grinding, eating, and even talking may cause the tooth to break. As we discussed before, failing to have a crown placed on the tooth may cause this to happen.

Moral of the story here is, don’t wait until a tooth is bothering you to get it fixed. If you wait until you feel pain, then you will say, “I would rather have a root canal!!!”

Call Dr Garrett today to schedule an exam (901) 347-3527 or schedule online.

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