About 25 million endodontic procedures are performed each year. Despite many advances in modern dentistry, misconceptions persist around root canal therapy. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), people have three major hesitations about receiving this treatment; they are related to pain, effectiveness, and causality to other conditions.
When you examine the facts, it is easy to see why root canal is beneficial for those suffering from persistent tooth pain and infection.
Root Canal Treatment is Not Painful
The idea that root canal is a painful procedure is false and it far predates the advances of modern dentistry. With local anesthetics, root canal therapy is no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. Root canal therapy relieves discomfort by removing pain-causing tissue.
Root Canal Therapy Does Not Cause Infection
The myth that root canal therapy causes infections and disease arose from a single, poorly researched and long-discredited paper published at the beginning of the 20th century. It predates modern medicine’s understanding of what causes many diseases.
The AAE confirms there is no scientific evidence linking root canal treatment to disease. In fact, the treatment has a much lower occurrence of bacterial infection than a tooth extraction. As for the myth that root canal raises cancer risk, a study by the American Medical Association found that patients who underwent multiple endodontic treatments had a 45 percent reduced risk of cancer.
Root Canal Treatment is Preferable to Extraction
Saving the natural tooth is the best option for overall health and the results can last a lifetime. There is no perfect replacement for a natural tooth after extraction; even the best replacement options come with cost and risk. Missing teeth can lead to other complications such as jawbone resorption, in which the bone is absorbed and broken down by the body. So, whenever possible, our doctor makes every effort to preserve your natural tooth.
If you are ever advised to have an extraction, ask if root canal treatment is an option. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion by an endodontist. We have at least two years beyond dental school of specialized training in tooth preservation.
If you are suffering from a painful or infected tooth, contact our endodontic practice or ask your dentist for a referral to see our endodontist in Louisville KY. Our safe and comfortable treatment is designed for a lifetime of good oral health.