Five Root Canal Myths Debunked

So many dental patients avoid root canal treatment, because of “scary” myths they may have heard. Avoiding root canal treatment can lead to further dental problems. At AMG Dental Group, we want our North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno & Jupiter dental patients to know the facts about root canals. Root canal treatment can save your tooth and even save you money. Read on to find out the truth behind root canal treatments and then give Dr, Guerra a call to schedule an appointment.

Root Canal Myths Debunked

Myth #1: You Only Need a Root Canal If You Have Tooth Pain.

Nerve damage or an infected tooth from an untreated cavity is one of the most common reasons patients will need a root canal. Many patients believe they have to be in a lot of pain to be a candidate for a root canal. To see if a root canal is the best option for your tooth, Dr. Guerra will conduct several tests, including a percussion and temperature test, in addition to x-rays. These tests will conclude if the tooth is dead and when it’s best to receive a root canal. Regardless if you are in an immense amount of pain or not, it’s best to pay a visit to your dentist if you sense something is wrong with your tooth.

Myth #2: Root Canals Cause Illnesses.

This myth began over a century ago due to research done in the 1920’s by Dr. Weston A. Price. He put out this misinformed study to promote extractions. There was no scientific evidence to support his claims of root canals causing illnesses. Root canals are completely safe and actually eliminate any bacteria from the infected tooth root. As a result, your oral health and overall health improve!

Myth #3: Root Canal Treatment is Painful.

Many dental patients are terrified of root canal treatment because they have heard nothing but bad things such as how painful it is. Dr. Guerra wants patients to know that root canals are completely painless. It is the infection in the tooth that causes the pain. During the root canal procedure, you are given shots in your mouth so you do not feel anything during the procedure and you can even have some sedation dentistry to calm your nerves and help you relax during the procedure. Patients won’t feel any pain during the procedure and can only expect minor pain following that can be treated with over the counter pain medicine. Once you are healed from the procedure, you won’t feel any more dental pain!

Myth #4: Tooth Extractions are a Better Alternative to Root Canals.

It is very rare that your dentist will recommend you have a tooth extracted unless it is a last resort. This is not the case. Although when you have a root canal, your tooth dies, we use composite fillings to fill it in and preserve it with a dental crown. Although your tooth is technically dead, it is still functional. You will chew and smile like normal. We do not advise any patients to have an extraction instead. When a tooth is extracted, there is no longer a root in your jaw, which then results in a loss of bone mass. This can only be replaced with a dental implant, which is a costly procedure and more expensive than a root canal.

Myth #5: Root Canals Require Several Appointments.

Your root canal procedure should not take more than two appointments. There are several factors that are involved. During your first appointment, Dr. Guerra will evaluate the damage to your tooth. If it is severely infected, difficult to get to, or so severe it may require a visit to a root canal specialist or endodontist, then your treatment may take two appointments. The first appointment will consist of Dr. Guerra removing the infected pulp from your tooth and then filling it with a composite filling. If it’s severe, this part may require two visits to complete. You will then be fitted with a temporary crown to wear until your permanent restoration returns from the lab. Your second appointment will consist of installing the permanent crown.

If you have a question or concerns, feel free to contact Dr. Guerra at 561-844-6146. We’re here to help!

Some Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities!

1. Watch What You Eat! Don't forget about fresh fruits and veggies as healthy snack alternatives.

2. Keep Your Dental Appointments! As many as 23.7 percent of American adults have untreated cavities, according to data from the CDC. If it's been a while since your last dental appointment, it's time to schedule a visit.

3. Take Supplemental Vitamin D! Vitamin D is important to help absorb calcium and phosphate from the food you eat.