Endodontist in Raleigh, NC | HH Hancock III, DDS, MS
YOU HAVE JUST LEFT your general dentist’s practice, where you’ve been informed that you require a root canal. Chances are you started scrolling immediately through the world wide web to learn as much information as possible.
The internet is an incredible place to gather information in today’s world. Still, it can also be plagued with dangerous misinformation from unreliable sources.
HH Hancock III, DDS, MS, your endodontist in Raleigh, NC, would like to break these outdated stigmas. The root canal procedure has been advancing for years thanks to the specialist members of the American Association of Endodontists, and is nothing to fear. The following are common questions associated with the root canal procedure that we would love to debunk:
Is a Root Canal Painful?
There is a stigma that root canals are an excruciating dental procedure. You need to understand that root canal therapy is performed to relieve severe tooth pain. The treatment procedure itself should not cause any pain at all.
Dentists or endodontists use local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding areas before the procedure. So, you should feel no pain at all during the process. The anesthetic turns off the nerve signals that tell your brain something hurts. However, mild pain and discomfort are typical for a few days after the procedure.
Root canals are needed when a cavity spreads into your tooth. The infected pulp is full of inflammation or infection. This inflammation is where the pain comes from, not the procedure itself. A root canal has the power to save your natural tooth and avoid extraction altogether.
Can Root Canals Cause Cancer?
A myth claims that 90% of cancer patients have had a root canal treatment in the past. Even though it has gained popularity thanks to the internet, no research supports this claim. Root canal treatments save the tooth structure.
The correlation is most likely that cancerous infections and inflammation lead to a need for root canals instead of the other way around. Plenty of research shows a link between chronic inflammation and cancer.
Is Tooth Extraction a Better Option?
Sometimes, patients opt for tooth extraction of an infected tooth to avoid spending extra time and money on a root canal procedure. Unfortunately, a patient may not understand that a tooth extraction will eventually require more extensive dental work and costly tooth replacements.
It is always better to try and preserve the affected tooth. Even though there have been significant advances in dental implants, there is still no equivalent replacement for the natural tooth. Also, extraction and implantation are way more expensive and significantly more painful than a root canal treatment.
Be aware that often, dentists recommend dental extraction when root canal treatment is still an option. For this reason, it’s essential to consult an endodontist for a second opinion. Doing this will ensure the best possible endodontic treatment plan for you.
We hope debunking a few myths will help you make a better decision about the future of your smile. HH Hancock III, DDS, MS, holds the highest standard of professionalism and has your best interest at heart. Call us if you have questions or concerns about saving your teeth.