Here at Dentistry of Nashville, we don’t mind answering the many questions that patients put forth. We understand that more complex treatments like dental implants or wisdom tooth extractions may coax a lot of questions, but one area that has surprised us is about endodontics (root canals). There are quite a few common misconceptions that some patients have told us about root canals, and we’d like to set the record straight.
Take a look below and see if you’ve heard these beliefs yourself. Don’t see your question here? Ask us today by giving us a call or filling out the contact form!
“I heard root canals are painful!”
Not so; before any root canal procedure is performed, you will be given an anesthetic that “numbs” the area, so you feel no pain. Drs. Elam, Vaughan, or Fleming will walk you through the process, prior to your surgery, of how the sedation will be administered.
Keep in mind too, that a root canal is meant to clear out decaying tissues that are causing you pain. Patients have told us time and again that their root canal procedure was such a relief, and that they felt no more pain than a routine filling.
“I only need a root canal if my tooth hurts.”
Not quite true. There are rare cases where a tooth may be decayed, but the patient doesn’t quite feel pain yet. Another case could be where a tooth has already “died”, so the patient feels no pain from the tooth, but a root canal must be performed to prevent it from becoming infected.
We recommend that you remain vigilant with your dental care and attend regular check-ups to keep track of any progressing tooth decay.
“Do I need to visit several times to complete my root canal?”
No, a complete root canal procedure will only require one or two visits. Typically, these visits are split, where one visit is when the procedure is performed, and the second is dedicated to attaching a crown to protect the site. Drs. Elam, Vaughan, or Fleming will dictate how many appointments you will need during your consultation for the root canal.
“It’s better to extract the tooth, rather than do a root canal.”
Tooth extraction should only be a last resort for a decayed or dead tooth. We know that replacing a tooth with an artificial one can be a lengthy process, so we often recommend that patients consider root canals first. A root canal only clears out the dead and decayed tissues within the pulp (the blood vessel and nerve center of a tooth), leaving the rest of the tooth intact and functional. Your smile remains the same, only your pain is gone and you can feel more confident about your appearance.
Got More Questions About Root Canals? We Have the Answers
Here at Dentistry of Nashville, we want our patients to feel comfortable and confident in their smiles, and that includes getting of diseases that could be causing them pain. If you have any further questions about the benefits of a root canal, or the process, let us know! Our team will be happy to take your question.