Hanford, CA, dentist discusses common myths about root canal therapy

The phrase "root canal treatment" can make the bravest of dental patients a little nervous. However, as Dr. Nikunj Raiyani explains there are many myths and misconceptions about the root canal that give it a bad reputation, when in fact, the root canal is an often necessary dental procedure that saves many patients from discomfort, pain, or even the loss of a tooth. Here, Dr. Raiyani discusses some of those common myths.

Myth #1: Root canals hurt. Perhaps the biggest misconception about root canals is that they are painful. In fact, the pain people feel is from the infection in the tooth. A root canal is performed when the inside of the tooth, where the tooth pulp is located, is infected. The pulp contains the nerves, which is the cause of the pain. However, once the problem is diagnosed, before treatment begins, the patient will be given anesthesia and the infection, pressure, and pain will be gone by the time the numbness wears off.

Myth #2: It's better to just have the tooth extracted than to go through a root canal. Dentists agree that saving the tooth is a better option than undergoing an extraction. During the procedure, the infected part of the tooth is cleaned out and replaced with a material to provide support. The structure of the tooth is intact and the tooth remains in place. On the other hand, when a tooth is extracted it leaves a gap where the tooth used to be, which can lead to further dental problems such as the remaining teeth drifting out of place and affecting the alignment of all the teeth.

Myth #3: Root canals increase your risk of chronic future diseases. This myth has been circulating for many, many years. However, no studies have linked root canals to future oral or overall health problems. However, an infected tooth that is left untreated can be harmful to the patient's overall health if the infection spreads to the blood stream or other parts of the body.

If you have a pain in your mouth, seek a dentist's help. Dental pain is an indication of an underlying problem and it doesn't simply go away. Only a dentist can examine the tooth and determine the best path for treatment. If you have questions about root canals or other treatment, call the office of Dr. Nikunj Raiyani today.

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