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Root canal myths

5 Common Myths About Root Canal Treatment

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Endodontists are dentists who specialize in root canal treatment. A root canal is a procedure used to treat diseased or infected tooth. Beneath the hard, outer layer of enamel and dentin is a soft tissue known as pulp that houses the blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.

SEE ALSO: 8 Common Questions About Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected due to deep decay, bad crown or a crack in the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can get worst and may need further surgical intervention and sometimes, the tooth may actually have to be pulled out.

Here are five common myths about root canal treatment.

  • 1

    Root canal treatment is painful.

    Root canal treatment is virtually pain free. Root canal treatment in fact relives pain as it removes the pulp which is the source of pain. Root canals aren’t what they used to be few decades ago. Advancements in training, equipments, technology and anesthesia make modern root canal treatment painless.

  • 2

    Root canal procedure requires several visits to the dental clinic.

    Most people think that tooth extraction is better as it is quicker. That's not true. If you opt for extraction, you will also need a dental implant. If tooth extraction is followed by the placement of an implant, you will need to make several visits, and also shell out more money. Root canal treatment usually requires 1 to 3 visits. It is basically the condition of the tooth that determines the number of visits required.

  • 3

    A root canal “kills” the tooth.

    A root canal cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth to allow it to heal; it does not kill a tooth.

  • 4

    Root canal procedure is not very successful.

    Root canal procedures have about 95% success rate, if treated by an endodontist (Source: American Association of Endodontist). As long as the tooth and surrounding gums are kept healthy with good oral hygiene, the natural tooth can last life time without any further treatment or therapy.

  • 5

    Root canal treatment causes illness.

    It was believed that root canal procedures caused other illnesses throughout the body. This myth is based on poorly designed and debunked research that took place almost a century ago. There is no valid scientific evidence supporting this research to date. In fact, root canals treatments are done to remove bad bacteria from the infected part of the mouth and work to prevent reinfection. Root canal treatments are designed to fight infection, not cause it.

Dr. Kavita Tarale

Dr. Kavita Tarale
BDS, MDS, Specialist Endodontist
Jumeirah Clinic, Dubai

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