Starkey Road Office 540-989-0112 • Hershberger Road Office 540-366-8325

7 August 2015
 August 7, 2015
Root Canal Therapy Illustration

There are many myths surrounding the root canal procedure, the biggest of which being that they are painful. Well if you’re like many patients who are looking to overcome their fears of a root canal in Roanoke, then hopefully this article will help ease those fears!

About the Procedure:

Before we get into why people have a fear of the procedure, let’s take a simplified look at why a patient would need the procedure and how it actually happens. There are varied reasons as to why a patient might actually need a root canal procedure, but the underlying condition is typically a bacterial infection. Unless you’re in the dental industry yourself, or well informed, you typically don’t assume that bacterial infections can cause such damage to the gums and tissues in the mouth. The fact of the matter is, that like other bacterial infections in the body, bacterial infections in the mouth can have serious ramifications. And like other bacterial infections, the sooner you treat the infection, the less likely you are to sustain serious damage.

Symptoms typical of needing a root canal

  • Tender or Swollen Gums
  • Intense Tooth Pain
  • Intense Pain In Or Around The Gums
  • Tooth Discoloration
  • Prolonged Sensitivity
  • Recurring Abscess on the Gum Line

Symptoms can be mild to extremely severe. It’s always best to seek immediate attention if you suspect you have a bacterial infection.  And for a better look at what the procedure actually entails, please see our page on root canals here.

Examining the Myths

Myth #1: Root Canals are Painful

Technological advances have paved the way for virtually pain free modern dentistry practices. The use of ultrasonic technology, lasers and other modern technologies have drastically changed the way root canals are performed. The horror stories your parents have told you about their root canal experiences 30 years ago are quite different from today’s practices. Along with advances in technology, sedation dentistry have made most procedure virtually painless.

Myth #2: Root Canal Therapy Causes Other Illness

For some reason a preconceived notion of root canal therapy, is that it somehow can cause other illnesses in the body. There were older studies that were thought to have linked gum disease and bacteria trapped in endodontically-treated teeth to illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease, or arthritis. This notion stems from research conducted by Dr. Weston Price from 1910 to 1930, which is almost 100 years ago. Since then there have been no significant studies that have absolutely related root canal therapy to these diseases.

Myth #3: Teeth or Gums Need to Hurt Before the Procedure Becomes Necessary

Again, we can look back to previous statements about symptoms and bacterial infections to see that it isn’t necessary to feel horrible pain before the procedure is necessary. With any bacterial infection it is imperative to treat the infection as soon as possible to avoid further complications. If your dentist finds evidence of bacterial prior to any horrible pains, the best course of action is to treat the infection ASAP.

The Importance of Regular Checkups

As dentists we can’t stress enough the importance of sticking to regular dental checkups. Early treatment and prevention of tooth decay and bacterial infection are imperative to preventing further oral health problems. Please contact our staff today with any questions about root canals.

Thank you

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