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Debunking The Top Root Canal Myths

A toothache is something no one wants to endure. Even if it goes away for a while, it’s very painful. You also start to worry about what’s wrong with your tooth, since a toothache is not normal.

Chances are, your tooth hurts because you have an infection inside it. If ignored, this will get more painful until the tooth has to be removed.

Thankfully, you can call our Rochester, MN dental office today at 507-216-6252 and make an appointment for a root canal. This procedure can gently remove the infection, end the pain, and make sure your tooth is healthy and strong again.

When Root Canals Are Needed

Unfortunately, everyone has some harmful bacteria living in their mouths. They survive by eating tiny bits of food and drink that get stuck in your mouth. In return, they produce an acid. When these bacteria live on your teeth, that acid burns holes in your enamel called cavities.

Typically, you can visit our Rochester dentists and get it repaired with a filling or dental crown. However, there are no nerves in your enamel. That means cavities could be growing right now and you’ll never know it.

Regular trips to the dentist can detect cavities, but if you go too long without these visits, a cavity can grow deep enough to break through the enamel. This allows the bacteria to slip into your dental pulp, home to your blood vessels and nerves. That’s why these infections hurt so much, but it’s also why they start to make a tooth become brittle.

A Typical Root Canal Procedure

What happens during a root canal? Although it can vary slightly from person to person, here’s what a typical root canal procedure from our Rochester dentists will look like.

  • First, digital X-rays are taken to locate the infection inside your tooth.
  • The infected tooth is cleaned, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and surrounding area.
  • Our Rochester dentist will make a small opening in the tooth so they can reach the infection.
  • Using the special rotary endodontic root canal technique, the infected dental pulp is gently removed.
  • The roots of your teeth are likewise cleaned to remove any infection there.
  • An inert material is used to fill in any space left behind.
  • A dental crown is bonded to your tooth, sealing that opening.

Root Canal Myths

Root canal procedures are not very common, which might be why there are so many myths surrounding them. Here are a few of the most common myths and the truth about them.

MYTH: Root canals increase your risk of arthritis.
TRUTH: Root canals get rid of health problems, not cause them.

Almost 100 years ago, one dentist wrote a study claiming that root canals lead to all kinds of health problems, including arthritis. Even though that study was soon debunked, some people still think there’s a health risk involved.

To be clear, root canal procedures do not increase your chance of arthritis or any other illness. In fact, they remove infections to make you healthier.

MYTH: Root canals leave you with a weakened tooth.
TRUTH: The infection is what makes your tooth weak.

As the infection spreads in your dental pulp, it begins to starve the tooth. The enamel gets weaker and turns brittle. That’s why your tooth gets weak. Some people associate root canals with weaker teeth and see a connection even though there isn’t one.

And because your root canal will end with a dental crown placed over that tooth, these treatments even make your tooth stronger.

MYTH: Root canals are uniquely painful.
TRUTH: Modern root canals can be comfortable.

One of the most stubborn myths out there says that root canals are very painful. That might have been true a long time ago, but modern root canal procedures are very different. Our Rochester dentists are trained in rotary endodontic root canal procedures, a new way to remove infections that minimizes the discomfort.

While no root canal can be 100% free of pain, modern root canals are no more painful than getting a filling.

Call us TODAY at 507-216-6252 or use our online form to schedule your next appointment. If our Rochester dentists discover you have an infected tooth, at least they have the training necessary to use a root canal to save your tooth.