One of the main goals here at Charles F. Betts, Jr., D.M.D. is to educate our patients about ways we can help you keep your teeth healthy and safe. One way our Decatur, AL dental office does that is to help you understand the truth about root canal treatment should you need it. This restorative dentistry technique has gotten a completely undeserved reputation for being one of the worst dental procedures you can go through.
Root canals are a life-saving procedure for damaged teeth, however. When performed by a qualified and caring dentist such as Dr. Betts, a root canal can restore your tooth to working order and relieve your oral pain. Take a moment to find out the true nature of root canal treatment as we dispel the most common root canal myths below.
Five Myths About Root Canal Treatment
Myth #1 – Root Canals Are Painful
This is the most prevalent myth regarding this procedure. The idea that root canal treatment is painful is simply not true at our office. In many cases, the nerve is too damaged to function properly anymore. This leaves your tooth numb to pain to begin with. The numbing agent Dr. Betts uses may be more of a precaution against pain. Dr. Betts will make sure that you do not feel anything you aren’t supposed to. In fact, the sensation you feel during a root canal is more like getting a dental filling than anything else.
Myth #2 – Tooth Extractions are Better Than Root Canals
As with any area of life, there are very few things every dentist agrees on as the best course of action, but this is one of them. Any dentist you talk to, Dr. Betts included, will say that if you have the chance to save your natural tooth, you should take it. Your real teeth are preferable to any tooth replacement option available. Root canal treatment is able to save your tooth and prevent a tooth extraction. Trust Dr. Betts with your care and keep your teeth where they belong.
Myth #3 – Root Canals Cause Disease
This is one of the more farfetched rumors regarding root canal treatment. In the 1920s there was a dental study conducted using a terrible design that yielded false results. The fact that this research was unreliable did not stop a certain Dr. Weston Price from circulating the results of the study in an effort to promote tooth extractions as a better option than root canals. This research was found to have no validity whatsoever. In fact, Dr. Betts can improve not only your oral health but possibly your overall health through root canal treatment.
Myth #4 – You Only Need a Root Canal if Your Tooth Hurts
Tooth pain may or may not indicate that you need a root canal. Sometimes, the symptoms may only be swelling and warmth on the side of your face from an abscess that has sprung up because of your damaged tooth. Sometimes you may feel nothing at all due to extensive nerve damage. These are all instances where the need for your root canal treatment has nothing to do with dental pain or a toothache. Dr. Betts is able to keep a watchful eye on your teeth and identify problems that may lead to the need for root canal treatment. Keeping up with your regular dental exams and dental cleanings here is a great way to make sure we catch these issues before they cost a tooth from your smile.
Myth #5 – Root Canals are a Temporary Fix
There is nothing temporary about a root canal. Root canals treatment removes the damaged, infected material (nerve and pulp) from the inside of your tooth and replaces it with a similar material called gutta-percha. Along with a tooth filling or dental crown, this stabilizes your tooth against the biting forces inside your mouth and makes the tooth usable again. It is important that you keep up a strong home dental hygiene routine and attend your regular visits to Charles F. Betts, Jr., D.M.D. to keep the filling or crown sealing your tooth in great shape. Do these things, and with the help of Dr. Betts, your tooth should last you for the rest of your life.
Call our Decatur, AL office today at 256-274-8680 to schedule the first of many dental exams and cleanings. We here at Charles F. Betts, Jr., D.M.D. are dedicated to not only keeping you armed with a great smile but also equipping you with the knowledge you need to keep it safe. Trust Dr. Betts and his 25 years of dental experience to lead you down the path of great oral health today.