At York Hill Endodontics, we enjoy nothing more than debunking a few Root Canal myths!

Myth#1 Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is painful
RCT does not cause pain, instead it relieves it. Stress about getting a RCT done causes more pain than the treatment itself. The toothache is normally caused by damaged tissues and infection in the tooth. The process involves administration of proper anaesthesia before commencement of RCT.

The damaged tissues and infection are removed leading to relief from pain. Make sure you are comfortable during the treatment. Still if you feel any discomfort, ask your dentist for additional anesthesia.

Myth#2 RCT causes illness/heart disease

There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. A root canal is a completely safe and an effective procedure. RCT also known as endodontic treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal preventing reinfection of the tooth and saving the natural tooth.

Myth#3 Tooth removal is better than RCT

RCT and tooth removal are two different procedures. RCT saves your natural tooth but in extraction, your natural tooth is pulled out. Depending on the level of infection and tooth structure loss, your dentist will decide whether to go for RCT or tooth extraction. It is always better to retain your natural tooth whenever possible.

Myth#4 RCT is costly

There is NO SUBSTITUTE for the natural teeth – they should be saved whenever possible. RCT along with appropriate filling, is a cost effective way to treat infected teeth because it is usually less expensive than tooth removal and replacement of missing teeth. In most cases, RCT allows you to keep your natural teeth for life.

Myth#5 Cap is not needed over a root canal treated tooth

After finishing the root canal procedure, permanent fillings are given to restore the decayed tooth and strengthen them. However, in majority of cases, where the tooth structure has been compromised, caps (crown) become mandatory for additional protection and strength. Natural appearance of your teeth can also be very well restored with help of crowns.

Myth#6 RCT takes a very long time

Each tooth is different and the severity of damage varies from person to person. Many a time RCT can be completed in a single sitting but at other times, it might require two to three sittings. The number of appointments and time taken for RCT depends on the amount of infection and complexity of tooth anatomy.

Myth#7 RCT cannot be done in pregnancy/ old age /medically compromised patient?

RCT can be done safely in pregnancy, old age and medically compromised with special precautions. The pros and cons of RCT and alternative procedures must be discussed with your dentist and informed decision be made.

Myth#8 Life of tooth after RCT is less
A high success rate has been observed in endodontically treated teeth. If well taken care of, they usually last for a couple of decades, sometimes even a lifetime.

A RCT maintains the chewing efficiency and natural appearance of teeth, thereby improving your quality of life. Suffice it to say, there is nothing like your natural teeth.

But sometimes, the root canal can become re-infected if the filling material has leaked/broken down, the patient has failed to maintain good oral hygiene, or decay has again affected the tooth. Such a tooth might warrant a Re-RCT or extraction.

How should a root canal treated tooth be taken care of?

After the procedure, it’s normal to feel some discomfort/pain for a few days. Severity of symptoms may vary.

There are medications to take care of your post RCT discomfort.  Maintaining a good oral hygiene is of utmost importance and affects the life of the RCT. Interdental brushes and water flossers are aids that can be used along with tooth brushing.

If your dentist has recommended a Root Canal, or if you are suffering in pain for fear of a Root Canal somehow “being worse”, we urge you not to wait any longer, putting off a needed root canal will result in nothing more than further pain and suffering,  significant financial costs (due to the need for more substantial treatment), or worst of all, the total loss of the tooth.

Please contact us today to book a consultation or ask any questions you might have about the root canal process.

Author: Dr. Jyoti Raheja

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