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When a patient has a severe toothache or swollen gums, their dentist may recommend a root canal. This can be worrisome, but there is no need to fear. There are many misconceptions about root canal therapy.

Myth #1: Root canal treatment is painful.
Truth: Root canal treatment relieves pain. It does not cause it.

This myth started because root canals did cause pain decades ago. However, with modern technology and anesthetics, root canal therapy causes no more discomfort than having a filling placed. When a patient has a toothache, it is often caused by diseased tissues in the tooth. A root canal will remove this tissue from the tooth, which relieves the pain.

Myth #2: Root canal treatment causes illness.
Truth: There is no scientific evidence linking root canal treatment to disease elsewhere in the body.

Root canal treatment is a safe and effective procedure. Root canal therapy eliminates bacteria from the infected root canal. This prevents further infection in the tooth and saves the natural tooth. A study made in 2013 even found that those who have had multiple endodontic treatments have a 45 percent reduced risk of cancer.

Myth #3: A good alternative to root canal treatment is extraction (pulling the tooth).
Truth: Saving the natural tooth when possible is always the very best option.

No dental restoration can completely replace your natural tooth. Artificial teeth sometimes cause patients to avoid certain foods. Keeping the natural teeth will allow the patient to continue to enjoy a wide variety of foods. Root canal treatment is less expensive than extraction and the placement of a dental bridge or implant. Root canal treatment has a high success rate and the treated tooth can last a lifetime.

Before performing root canal therapy, the dentist will explain the procedure and answer any questions. Root canal treatment can allow a patient to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime!