FACTS AND MYTHS
The Tooth is Killed by the Root Canal Treatment
False: The basic purpose of a root canal treatment is to clean and remove the infected material from the inner part of the tooth in order to avoid tooth loss. The inner chamber or pulp of the tooth contains the nerves and blood vessels, which helps in the development. As the person ages, the nerves act as a warning sign for anything wrong with the tooth. Pain is felt whenever there is damage, infection, fracture, or trauma of the tooth.
Strong Painkillers are needed after a Root Canal Treatment
Somewhat True: When root canal treatment is performed, pain is experienced for a few days and it gradually gets better. As the pain is mainly due to inflammation, the use of anti-inflammatory pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or other such drugs is recommended.
If severe pain persists even after a few weeks, the dentist should be consulted to look for any complications.
A Crown is usually needed after the Root Canal Treatment
True: The teeth that need a root canal treatment usually have large cavities, which are filled with a post and filling material. This is done to provide strength to the tooth, as it is more prone to a fracture. Placement of a crown on the top is highly advisable and gives further strength to the tooth. It also does not allow the filling to escape from the tooth cavity.
The Process of Root Canal Treatment requires Multiple Visits
False: Usually, the treatment does not require multiple visits and the process is completed in a single visit within a couple of hours. However, the number of visits may increase with complications. In case of severe infection, the dentist eradicates the infection first by using specific drugs and postpones the root canal procedure for a few days until the infection is cleared. The number of visits can also increase if the tooth has more than one canal.
If Root Canal Treatment fails, it always results in Tooth Extraction
False: Root canal treatment is successful in most cases and about 85% of teeth are completely healed. In some cases, there may be pain or infection in the tooth after many years. The process consists of cleaning and disinfecting the root canal again, which is followed by filling and recapping the tooth with a crown.
In certain conditions, the tip of the root is micro-surgically excised (apectomy) as part of the treatment.