After suffering from a toothache, you would probably respond by making an appointment with your dentist to see what can be done to alleviate your discomfort. After the examination, the dentist may decide that you need to have a root canal performed to help save the tooth. However, you may be hesitant and a little scared to have it done. If so, learn the truth about some misconceptions you may have or have heard about when it comes to getting a root canal.
1. Myth: Tooth May Fall Out Afterward Because It Has No Roots
One misconception you may have about getting a root canal is that your tooth may fall out after the procedure is completed because it no longer has roots. If the roots of the teeth are no longer present, nothing is holding the tooth inside of the gum tissue, right?
The roots are the elongated sections at the bottom of the tooth that extends down into the gums. Despite what the name may seem to suggest, these parts of the tooth are not actually removed.
Instead, the dentist will create a canal into the interior of the roots and remove the inflamed and infected pulp. The actual exterior structure of the tooth remains intact, allowing it to remain firmly attached to the gums.
2. Myth: Root Canal Is Excruciatingly Painful
Another misconception you may have about the procedure is the level of pain it causes during and afterward. You may have heard friends or family members talk about how much pain they were in, leading you to be fearful about experiencing the same discomfort.
While you may have some normal discomfort after the procedure, it should not be excruciatingly painful. In fact, because the diseased pulp is removed, you may even feel some relief from the pain and discomfort you were experiencing before the root canal was performed. As far as being painful during the procedure, the dentist will thoroughly numb your gums and may give you nitrous oxide gas to relax you. If you are feeling especially anxious about being awake during the procedure, speak with them about options for twilight sedation or even fully sedation, depending on what their office offers.
3. Myth: Nothing Else Needs to Be Done to the Tooth after the Procedure
After you have a root canal, you should feel relief from the symptoms that you were experiencing before it was performed. Because of this, you may believe that there is nothing else that needs to be done to the tooth. Since you have no symptoms, the problem will be gone and the tooth restored to its healthy state.
However, a root canal is only meant to remove the infected pulp that is causing your symptoms. Once it is removed, the tooth will be weakened for a time that will make it susceptible to breakage. The procedure is only the first step in saving the tooth.
Once the tooth has healed from the root canal, other procedures can be performed to restore and save the tooth. Before you have the procedure, talk with your dental professional about the treatment plan going forward after the pulp is removed. They will then discuss your options, such as capping the tooth or even filling it with a resin to reinforce it from the inside.
Even after learning more about the procedure, you may still be nervous about getting the root canal. If that's still the case, you can speak with your dentist to get more information about your options so they can help address your fears and misgivings about having the procedure done.