Dental treatments can cause a bit of unnecessary anxiety for some people. This anxiety is often exacerbated by misinformation, or even myths, about particular treatments. This tends to be especially true when it comes to root canals.

As one of the primary providers of root canals in Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Harris, Dr. Sedwick, and Dr. Sarnowski spend a lot of time debunking misleading information which causes patients undue concern. Here are four of the more popular myths about root canals:

1. Root Canals are Painful

Many years ago this was true, but thanks to modern technology and anesthesia, the root canal procedure is now painless. To comfort any pain experienced after the procedure, when the anesthetic wears off, endodontists (those who perform root canals) prescribe non-steroid, anti-inflammatory medicine and antibiotics, if necessary. Proper oral hygiene practices, as well as the best types of food to eat are thoroughly discussed with the root canal patient to ensure they stay comfortable during the short healing process.

2. It is Better to Extract the Tooth than to Have a Root Canal

When the root of a tooth begins to decay medical intervention is required. There are two possible treatments available: a root canal or a tooth extraction (the complete removal of the tooth and the root). Similar to a root canal, an extraction, due to the anesthesia administered is a pain free process. It is also, a less expensive procedure than a traditional root canal.

However, after the tooth is removed the patient is left with a large and gaping hole in their mouth. This hole causes cosmetic concerns as well as issues with the patient’s bite, and as such many patients opt to have a fake tooth put in its place.

When the tooth is replaced the costs, including the cost of the extraction, equate to the same amount (and a longer timeframe) than the recommended option – a root canal.

3. A Root Canal is a Long Process

Understandably, a root canal may seem to some, longer than it actually is. However, at East Coast Endodontics’ Richmond, Virginia offices, our root canal treatments take only 45 to 60 minutes. You could have the entire root canal procedure completed over a long lunch hour!

4. If You Need a Root Canal Your Teeth Will Hurt

Signs of requiring a root canal vary widely. They can include symptoms such as sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks, discoloration around the tooth, inflammation around the gums, an abscess or pimple around the tooth in which you have concerns, a bad taste in your youth, tooth pain and more.

Although pain is a symptom of requiring a root canal, it is not the only symptom. Minor to severe tooth pain can also be a sign of different dental issues, and as such if you experience any abnormalities with your teeth or mouth you should seek the advice of a dentist or endodontist immediately.

If you require a root canal in the Richmond, Virginia area you can make an appointment with Dr. Jesse Harris at East Coast Endodontics to discuss how we make our root canal treatments comfortable for our patients.