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3 Common Lies About Dental Office Treatments

a dentist chair in a white room

There are plenty of reasons someone might put off a visit to their local dentist’s office. Perhaps they’re worried about pain management, or about what the dentist might think of their teeth (don’t worry – we’ve seen it all before, and we don’t judge). However, their reason for not visiting might be tied to misinformation or lies they’ve heard about common treatments found in a dental office, and if this is the case, the only way to relieve their worries is to provide some clarity on the matter.

Dental treatments are innovative, but this also means that they might use materials or methods that you haven’t heard of before. Just because these methods are unfamiliar doesn’t mean they’re dangerous, but unfortunately, there are plenty of people – including practitioners of alternative dentistry care – who spread incomplete or incorrect information about these treatments.

Today, we’re going to address three of the most common rumours around typical dentist office treatments, and we’ll explain why what you’ve heard may not be the full story.

Lie #1: Using fluoride leads to all kinds of diseases.

Ever since it was introduced, fluoride has been weathering all kinds of accusations. It’s been framed as contributing to everything from cancer to kidney failure, but these couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Fluoride has been proven to make your teeth more resistant to decay, and there’s no evidence whatsoever linking it to any health risks or diseases. In fact, it’s been so well-documented that most public water supplies have a small amount of fluoride added in to help prevent cavities in the surrounding population. Your own dentist will likely recommend products containing fluoride, especially if you’re doing your best to ward off cavities.

So relax – fluoride is a friend, not a foe.

Lie #2: X-Rays are so dangerous for your health that they’re not worth the risk of taking.

Radiation is a word that sounds scary. It’s associated with all kinds of horrible things, and so, when people hear that x-rays will, by definition, expose you to radiation, it’s easy to see how they’d assume x-rays are terribly dangerous.

However, the radiation you’ll get from a dental x-ray is never more than a few percentage points to the radiation you’re exposed to just by going about your daily life. It is true that radiation accumulates in your body, which is why we don’t recommend getting x-rays just for the fun of it. When your dentist recommends getting an x-ray, it’s because the risk of not seeing what’s going on inside your mouth – how deep an infection goes, or what the cause of your tooth pain is – far outweighs the minute amount of radiation you’ll be exposed to.

Lie #3: Root canals can increase your chances of getting cancer.

The scientific method matters, and when it’s not followed, you get poorly-designed studies that continue to cause harmful confusion for years after the fact. The idea that root canals can cause cancer came about from Weston Price, the Canadian dentist who founded the National Dental Association. Dr. Price ran a series of experiments to see what the best treatment was for infected teeth.

Unfortunately, his tests fell prey to contamination from other bacteria and improper use of control groups, which meant that he erroneously concluded that root canals could cause everything from cancer to heart disease. Despite his theory being consistently disproven by the experiments and research of other dentists in peer-reviewed settings, the stigma of the deadly root canal is still pandered around online, leading to fear around the procedure. Tragically, someone who avoids going to the dentist for fear of a root canal may end up dying from an untreated infection allowed to spread throughout the rest of the body, which makes this lie especially important to debunk.

Root canals aren’t just safe; they’re also a method that can allow us to save your natural tooth, rather than just pulling it out and putting in an implant. They’re also not nearly as painful as media depictions make them out to be. So if your dentist recommends a root canal, you can breathe easy. You’ll feel better, your teeth will be healthier, and you won’t be put at risk.

Effective & Thorough Care at Our Barrie Dentist Office

At Dr. Elston Wong Dentistry, you can always count on the fact that our dental office will use the latest, up-to-date information and innovations to ensure your long-term oral health. From preventive dental services to endodontic and prosthodontic care, we’re the dental office that looks after every facet of your teeth. If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort, or if you’re simply overdue for a check-up, this is your reminder not to put off the care of your teeth.

To learn more about our family dental office in Barrie, give us a call at (705) 721-1143. You can also send us a message online.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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