Myths about root canal pain are exactly that — myths!
It’s unfortunate that when a dentist or endodontist utters the words “root canal,” patients often blanch and think “Oh my gosh, the pain!” We say it’s unfortunate because the idea that root canal treatment is a severely painful process is a myth. It’s simply not true. Yes, root canal can result in some post-procedure discomfort- like any dental procedure, but the purpose of root canal treatment is to relieve or prevent pain, not cause it. And frequently, the real pain generated by a compromised tooth far exceeds the imagined pain of the procedure itself.
The belief that root canal treatment is painful stems from a sensationalized history and exaggerations. Admittedly, decades ago root canal treatments could cause some pain, but, as noted, that was long ago. The reality is that dentistry and the endodontics specialty — the segment of dentistry that treats root canal issues — have come a long way in eliminating pain as a factor in root canal treatment. With the use of dental anesthetics nearly all root canal procedures can be done pain-free.
Root canal treatment revolves around entering, cleaning and filling the root canal system inside the root with the objective of saving natural teeth. The problem is that most patients don’t fully understand what a root canal treatment really is and what it involves. Since we have a tendency to fear the unknown, we tend to assume the worst and accept myths and rumors as fact.
As endodontists, our job is to help patients retain their natural teeth, keeping them healthy and efficient. It’s disappointing for us to see a patient suffer due to anxiety or fear of pain. We want to clear up misconceptions and provide valuable information about root canal treatments. Let’s start by saying loud and clear: Advances in anesthetics and the methods for administering them have led to a huge reduction in the level of pain experienced and the time of recovery needed for most endodontic procedures.
With modern technology, root canal treatment can be as fast and painless as filling a cavity. In a recent survey, it was found that people who underwent treatment are six times more likely to describe it as painless than those who have not. It seems that the stigma connecting pain with root canal treatments is mostly supported by people who have never had the treatment.
Root canal treatment is the best option for retaining your natural teeth. Extraction and implants may be called for in certain cases, but when teeth can be preserved, root canal treatment is preferred.
Don’t allow the myth of pain to prevent proper treatment. Remember, modern anesthetics effectively numb the area to be treated! Treatment should be painless once anesthetic is administered. The procedure can be stopped and more anesthetic is given if any discomfort is felt. When the treatment is complete, there may be some mild discomfort due to inflammation around the root end, but this can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications.
We believe our patients should know that undergoing root canal treatment does not mean undergoing pain. We encourage patients to ask us questions and learn about the treatment they require. Contact us at Professional Endodontics to learn more about our staff and the myth-free endodontic services we provide.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes in 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 Hour Detroit Magazine’s 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 offers state-of-the-art facilities in Clarkston, Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Southfield. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental delivery systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
6803 Dixie Highway
Clarkston, MI 48346
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034
Henry Ford Hospital Medical Pavilion
16151 19 Mile Rd, Suite 101
Clinton Township, MI 48038
St. Clair Shores
St. Clair Professional Plaza
23829 Little Mack, Suite 300
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080