High sensitivity, unbearable toothache… Almost everyone on this Earth has experienced this unpleasant problem. These cases often share a common cause: root canal infection. Depending on the severity of the infection, the treatment decision is between extracting the tooth or preserving it with a root canal treatment.
In a recent DentaVox survey, we checked the awareness of 5562 respondents globally of popular myths and facts about root canal treatment. See what they think on these and more curious matters:
#1: Not-treated tooth decay may lead to root canal infection: FACT
We know that every second adult globally has cavities. But what happens if this trivial problem remains untreated? According to 87% of the survey participants, it leads to a root canal infection.
And this is, in fact, true. Although not necessarily, not-treated tooth decay very often becomes a reason for severe pulp infections, along with experienced trauma. Both allow harmful bacteria to enter the tooth roots and inflame the tissue inside (the tooth pulp). So next time when you think about letting your toothache go away by itself, please think twice.
#2: It’s better to remove a tooth than have a root canal: SO-SO
Nearly half of DentaVox survey respondents believe that undergoing root canal treatment is preferable to extracting the ailing tooth. What do dental experts think about that?
The answer cannot be categorical as it depends solely on the severity of the infection. Some serious inflammations are too risky and difficult to be influenced by a root canal treatment, so in this case, your dentist may recommend extraction. However, modern dentists usually prefer to try to preserve the tooth whenever possible by performing a root canal procedure.
#3: Root canal treatment “kills” the tooth: MYTH
Although slightly more people disagree with this statement, 34% still say that undergoing a root canal procedure kills the tooth.
The essence of the procedure, however, is different. It cleans the inside of the tooth to help it heal. See how it works in the image below.
#4: The need for root canal treatment can only be proven via X-ray: FACT
Although some dental problems are believed to be detectable with a “naked” eye, internal infections can and must be precisely indicated by taking X-ray images. Otherwise, the diagnosis is like shooting in the dark.
The majority of participants in the DentaVox survey recognize this need. Another one-third, though, doesn’t. This leads us to remind you to carefully choose dental professionals who work with proven precise diagnostic methods – otherwise, your treatment cannot be secure.
#5: Root canal procedure requires several dental visits: SO-SO
A lot of people believe that root canal treatment is not only a painful procedure but also a dreadfully time-consuming one. 78% of our survey respondents confirm that this treatment requires several dental visits.
Actually, the condition of the tooth determines the number of needed visits to the dental office. More severe infections may require more visits, as well as some additional time for monitoring the results of the treatment and proceed accordingly.
#6: A tooth with root canal treatment will surely be extracted later: MYTH
Every third DentaVox respondent believes that a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment is destined to be extracted at a later stage.
Experts disagree and claim that if your tooth is properly cleaned and restored, you practice good at-home hygiene and go to regular checkups, your natural tooth could last for life.
#7: Pain and sensitivity are common symptoms of pulp infection: FACT
The majority (79%) recognize pain and sensitivity as some of the indications for pulp inflammation. And rightly so. But these are not the only symptoms to look out for.
#8: Root canal treatment means removing the roots of the tooth: MYTH
Another common misconception about the essence of the root canal procedure is that the dentist removes the roots of the tooth. Over half of the respondents believe so.
This is not the case, though. If they would do that, you would not have a tooth in your mouth anymore. As explained above, the treatment actually involves cleaning the infection and filling the root canals.
#9: Dental crowns cause the need for root canal treatments: MYTH
Treating root canal infection might be required before placing a dental crown. But that doesn’t mean that the dental crowns cause the need for it, although 45% of the DentaVox survey participants think so. The need for this procedure is only determined by whether or not the pulp is infected.
#10: Pregnant women must not undergo root canal procedures: MYTH
Having dental problems while being pregnant can cause serious confusion with all the scary information on the Internet. For example, 50% of the respondents believe the root canal treatments must be avoided while expecting a baby. This, per se, means living with a dangerous inflammation in your mouth.
Nowadays, experts agree that root canal procedures are no risk for pregnant women. Even if an X-ray image is needed, the radiation from it is so insignificant that with the right additional protection it is considered completely safe.
Which of those myths and facts were you aware of?
Share in the comments below!
You don’t feel like commenting? While you are still on the topic, why don’t you:
Stats source: DentaVox, 20 Questions: Root Canal Treatment
Base: 5562 respondents (global sample)