Picture the scene: your loved one feels some tooth pain and jumps begins to scour the web for information. He (or she) did some research and eventually jumped to a conclusion only to run through the door and proclaim loudly, “I HAVE A ROOT CANAL!”
Now that you’ve read this little primer on dental misconceptions, you’ll be able to confidently respond, “Of course you do! We all do.” Why? Because it’s true. We all have root canals, because root canals are vital aspects of our dental anatomy that carry nutrients and support the development of our teeth. What you're panicking loved one meant to say was “I need root canal treatment!” Two of the most common misconceptions in dentistry involve root canals. As we’ve already discussed, the first among them simply has to do with the way people refer to the endodontic procedure used to clean your dental pulp and root canal of bacteria.
The second misconception having to do with root canal treatment has to do with its reputation as a painful procedure you need to be afraid of. In fact, it’s actually just as common as a dental filling, and nearly as invasive.The reputation root canal treatment gets for pain is rooted in two factors.
First, there’s the drill. Dental drills have come quite a long way. Years ago they were little more than the drills used by construction workers in the field. Today, they are intricately engineered pieces of equipment, designed to minimize pain and maximize their effectiveness. Second, we have anesthesia. Years ago, patients had little by way of anesthesia. Today, local anesthesia and sedation make root canal therapy a walk in the park.
Misconception number 3 moves on to the foods you eat, which can actively prevent the need to worry about the treatment we talked about with misconception number 2. This misconception we call the “sugar fallacy” where some people seem to think that only sugary foods and liquids can cause a cavity. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
While sugar filled food and drinks can surely contribute to cavities, carbohydrates of every kind (which metabolize into sugars) and bacteria come together to help create acids in your mouth which weaken your tooth’s enamel over time and - eventually - cause cavities, infection, and decay. Sure, sugars are a primary offender when it comes to promoting the creation of cavities in your mouth, but cavities can also be created by foods like pasta, crackers, and bread just as easily.
Have you been living life according to one of the dental world’s leading misconceptions for too long? Is it time to find a dentist near you? Fortunately, our friends at Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove can help. Visit their blog to learn about how to keep your teeth in tip-top shape.