“I’d rather have a root canal!” This is a common response to anything remotely unpleasant, but is the bad reputation justified? The short answer is no! With today’s advancements in medicine, there is simply no pain associated with a root canal. Unfortunately, most people associate pain with the procedure because of the infected tooth, NOT the treatment. In fact, a root canal is done only to eliminate the pain. Still, misconceptions persist. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are three myths associated with root canal treatment.
1. Root Canal Treatment is Painful
Root canal therapy is performed to relieve existing pain from an infection caused when an untreated cavity spreads to the pulp of the tooth. Although there may be some slight anxiety before the procedure, most people report little or no pain during the appointment.
2. Root Canal Treatment Causes Illness
This myth is based on de-bunked research by Dr. Weston A. Price performed almost a century ago. He alleged that teeth treated with root canal therapy leaked bacteria or bacterial toxins into the body, resulting in arthritis and other diseases. There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth to disease in the body.
3. A Good Alternative is Extraction of the Tooth
The best option always is to save the tooth. Once the tooth is gone, it’s gone. A root canal with restoration is not only cost effective, it keeps the natural tooth, for which there is no satisfactory replacement.