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You have a bad toothache and your tooth becomes sore when exposed to cold or hot foods and drinks. You notice that your gums are swelling. When you go to the dentist, you are told that you need root canal therapy. You are nervous because you’ve heard lots of unpleasant things about the procedure. However, there is no need to worry. 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 decades ago, root canals were unpleasant. However, with modern technology and anesthetics, root canal therapy causes no more discomfort than having a dental filling placed. When a patient has a toothache, tooth sensitivity, and swelling in the gums, the cause is often diseased tissues in the roots of the tooth. During a root canal, this tissue is removed from the tooth, which relieves the pain and sensitivity.

Myth #2: Root canal treatment causes illness.
Truth: There is no scientific evidence linking root canal treatment to disease arising anywhere else 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 tooth extraction, which means to pull the tooth.
Truth: Saving the natural tooth when possible is the best option.

No dental restoration can completely replace your natural tooth, as artificial teeth can make it difficult to chew and talk properly. 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. Placement of a bridge or an implant means much more treatment time.

If you need root canal therapy, your dentist will answer any questions and ease any concerns you may have. Root canal treatment can allow you to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime!