Root canal therapy is a common, and commonly misunderstood, restorative treatment that, while necessary, is frequently postponed or ignored because of the myths surrounding it. Unfortunately, such hesitation can lead to irreparable damage from extensive tooth infection, and many patients who skip root canal treatment must later have their tooth extracted. To clarify the misconceptions and spread the truth about root canals, we challenge you to a short quiz about the importance of root canal therapy.
How Much Do You Know About Root Canals?
1.) What is root canal treatment prescribed for?
b.) Gum disease
c.) Oral cancer
2.) What are alternatives to root canal treatment?
a.) Dental filling
b.) Tooth extraction
c.) Periodontal cleaning
3.) T/F: Root canals can be performed with minimal discomfort.
1.) Cavities—Cavities form when the main structure of your tooth, called dentin, is infected with bacteria. Tooth decay is progressive, and it can infect the nerves and blood vessels (pulp) that are connected to the roots if allowed to reach your tooth’s center. Root canal treatment describes removing infected pulp tissues and cleaning the root canals to stop the spread of infection and save the tooth from total destruction.
2.) Tooth extraction—A dental filling is similar to root canal treatment, but only involves removing and replacing infected dentin. Fillings are used for moderate cavities that are detected and treated early, but if severe cavities require root canal therapy or a tooth extraction. In most cases, however, your dentist will not recommend tooth extraction unless absolutely necessary.
3.) True—Many of the myths about root canal treatment involve discomfort—mainly, that the procedure causes it. Using advanced restorative techniques, your dentist can access your tooth’s interior conservatively and with minimal discomfort.