You’ve probably heard many negative things about root canal therapy, like it’s painful or even causes cancer. Much of what you’ve heard probably isn’t true. Root canals are pain-free thanks to the latest innovations in dentistry, and they are safe. Despite common rumors, root canals can’t cause cancer.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is an endodontic procedure used to save a compromised tooth from extraction. The pulp is removed, and the tooth is sealed to restore its health and function. It can be needed for several reasons, like decay or infection within the tooth.
Although root canals are common, they are only recommended when there aren’t any other options to prevent a tooth from needing to be removed. It preserves the tooth, so you don’t have to worry about the complications of tooth loss, like cavities, gum disease, and additional missing teeth. You will avoid unnecessary oral health expenses, like replacing a tooth with a prosthetic. You’ll save money down the road.
Do Root Canals Cause Cancer?
There are many myths about root canals, but one of the longest rumors relates to it causing cancer and other harmful diseases. The myth originates from a dentist in the early 20th century providing inaccurate information after performing many flawed and poorly designed tests. Despite his claim of root canals causing harmful toxins, the procedure has been proven safe time and time again.
What to Expect with Root Canal Therapy
If you need root canal therapy, you’ll need an initial consultation with your dentist. They will examine your mouth and review diagnostic images to create a personalized treatment plan. A local numbing agent will ensure you don’t have any pain during the procedure.
Your dentist will use special instruments to open the crown of the tooth to gain access to the innermost layer, the pulp. The soft tissue is extracted, and the tooth is sterilized before being sealed with a special material called gutta-percha.
It’s not uncommon to require a dental crown after a root canal. The customized cap will provide an added layer of protection and restore the tooth’s function and appearance.
Don’t let inaccurate information cost you a tooth. Never hesitate to contact your dentist if you have questions. You only get one set of permanent teeth. A root canal can help ensure your natural smile lasts for a lifetime.
About Dr. Rodney L. Allen
Dr. Allen is an award-winning dentist and has over 20 years of experience. He attained his dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in many specialties, like root canal therapy. If you need a root canal or second opinion, request an appointment through our website or call (720) 744-3698.