Over time, a stigma has formed around root canal treatment that deems it to be a painful process with the possibility of leading to cancer, stroke, or other health problems. Professional Endodontics would like to break that stigma because, in reality, this is an outdated and unfounded view of root canals. In fact, there is no scientific evidence at all to prove it is linked to cancer or other unrelated health issues. The root canal procedure has been advancing for years, and, by now, it is really nothing to be afraid of. In many cases, it is in the best interest of the patient and the retention of his/her natural dentition, but they opt out due to the commonly accepted misconceptions. Here is some useful information to define and debunk these myths.

Does Root Canal Treatment Cause Pain?

No, root canal treatment relieves pain. One of the reasons a patient may be referred for root canal treatment is for the very reason that they are experiencing intolerable pain. Once anesthetic is administered the treatment should be painless, and if discomfort is felt the procedure can be stopped and more anesthetic given.

The view that root canal treatment is painful is spread by people that may have received the treatment decades ago, or never at all. With modern technology and anesthetics, the treatment can be as quick and painless as having a filling placed. In a recent survey, it was shown that people who have actually undergone the treatment are six times more likely to describe it as painless than those who have not. So, the truth is that the stigma is mostly supported by people who have never received the treatment.

It is true that there can be some discomfort after root canal treatment, because the procedure can cause some inflammation around the root end. This problem is effectively treated in most cases with anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen and Tylenol. In some cases Codeine containing medications like Norco and Tylenol #3 are prescribed as well.

Does Root Canal Treatment Cause Illness?

This myth is also a left-over claim supported by outdated science and has been propagated through poor fact-checking on the internet. There are many unreliable sources on the internet that will support these allegations, but the reality is that this myth was created by a dentist in the 1920’s who advocated for tooth extraction before proper medical research was possible.

The truth is that there is no valid scientific evidence that links root-canal treated teeth with disease found elsewhere in the body. Root canal treatment is predictable and effective with a high success rate. The alternative to root canal treatment, tooth extraction, has been known to cause a significantly higher incidence of bacteria entering the bloodstream, which leads us to the final myth.

Is Tooth Extraction a Better Option?

The answer is, in most cases, no. It is always better to try and preserve the natural tooth. Though there have been significant advances in dental implants, there is still no equivalent replacement for the natural tooth. Many patients with dental implants find that they aren’t able to eat the same foods with the artificial tooth and are forced to change their diet.

Also, extraction and implantation is more expensive and significantly more painful than root canal treatment. Oftentimes dentists will recommend dental extraction when root canal treatment is still an option. That’s why it’s important to consult an endodontist for a second opinion to ensure the best possible treatment plan can be developed.

About Professional Endodontics

Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes with treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.

Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comerica Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.