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Myths and Facts About Root Canal Therapy

Myths and Facts About Root Canal Therapy

Every year, dentists nationwide perform more than 15 million root canals to save their patients’ teeth in the face of severe decay and trauma. Unfortunately, root canals have a reputation for being invasive and painful. The truth is that advancements in oral health treatments, technology, and techniques have significantly improved the root canal process. 

Although Hannah Baek, DDS, performs many root canals, she knows that misinformation abounds. In this blog, Dr. Baek and our team at Healthy Smile Dental in Woodridge, Illinois, debunk a few of the most common root canal myths, so you can make a more informed decision about your oral health care. 

Myth: Root canals are incredibly painful

This is the hurdle most of our patients have trouble getting over when it comes to root canals (and other dental procedures, for that matter). Most don’t realize that root canals are intended to lessen your pain by eliminating the damage and decay irritating your tooth nerves. 

We perform root canals using advanced pain management techniques that completely numb your tooth and the surrounding area. For our overly anxious patients, we can employ a sedative in addition to our regular pain management regime to help you relax. 

You may have a bit of discomfort following your procedure, but it’s similar to the side effects of a filling. Any symptoms you experience are temporary, mild, and easy to manage with over-the-counter pain medication. 

Myth: Root canals can weaken your tooth

Severely decayed and damaged teeth are weaker on their own, and unchecked decay and damage also leave your teeth vulnerable to breakage, loss, and serious infections. 

Root canals seek to undo that damage by removing the affected pulp and nerves in the center of your tooth, preventing further deterioration and additional weakening. 

But we don’t stop there. Dr. Baek seals and protects your treated tooth with a durable crown, fortifying your tooth, preventing future damage, and even improving your smile's appearance. 

Myth: Root canals make infection more likely

Root canals are in the infection-eliminating game, and every step of the process is designed to keep future infections at bay. We start by eliminating the infection you already have and finish by sealing the canals and pulp cavity to keep germs out. We also apply a filling to provide additional protection and top it off with a crown. 

Sometimes, Dr. Baek prescribes antibiotics before or after your procedure to kill bacteria. 

Myth: Tooth extractions are better

There are cases where an extraction is the best way forward. However, once you have a tooth pulled, it starts a snowball of dental procedures. You have to fill the gap immediately with a bridgedenture, or implant, all of which can rack up an expensive dental bill. 

With root canals, we save your natural tooth, keeping your bite balance intact and allowing you to speak and chew normally without an adjustment period. 

Myth: It’s hard to care for treated teeth

Once it’s all over and your tooth has its crown, you can clean it normally with regular brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly checkups. In fact, your treated tooth can last for the rest of your life with proper care.

If you suspect you need a root canal, or if you’d like more information, call our friendly staff at 630-910-1900, or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at Healthy Smile Dental today. 

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