8 Root Canal Myths Debunked

8 Root Canal Myths

Root canal therapy, a common dental procedure, is often surrounded by misconceptions. These unfounded beliefs can cause unnecessary anxiety and lead to poor dental decisions. In this blog we aim to debunk the most common myths about root canal treatment – from the perceived pain to misunderstandings about the health implications – helping you to make the best possible decisions regarding this important dental procedure.

Myth 1: Root Canals are Extremely Painful

One of the most pervasive myths about root canal treatment is that it’s an extremely painful procedure. This belief likely stems from dental practices of the past. Today, with advanced techniques and effective anesthesia, root canal therapy is no more painful than getting a regular filling. Patients often experience relief from the severe pain caused by the infected or inflamed pulp that necessitated the treatment. The discomfort following the procedure is usually mild and manageable, and can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Dispelling this myth is crucial, as fear of pain can prevent patients from receiving necessary dental care.

Myth 2: Root Canal Treatment Causes Illness

Another common myth is that root canal treatments can lead to illnesses, such as heart disease or arthritis. This misconception is based on outdated research from the early 20th century, which has since been debunked. Modern medical and dental research has found no evidence to support a link between root canal treatments and systemic diseases. The procedure is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection, and save the natural tooth, not to cause illness. It’s vital to rely on current, evidence-based information when considering the safety and implications of dental treatments.

Myth 3: Better to Extract Than Save the Tooth

The belief that extraction is a better solution than root canal treatment is a common misconception. While extraction might seem like a simple fix, it can lead to longer-term issues such as jawbone deterioration, misalignment of the remaining teeth, and the need for more complex dental procedures like implants or bridges. Root canal therapy, on the other hand, allows you to preserve your natural tooth. Keeping the original tooth maintains the natural alignment and integrity of your jaw and bite. It’s a tried and true method for resolving issues of tooth decay or infection while retaining as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. This approach aligns with the principle of conservative dentistry, focusing on tooth preservation and oral health sustainability.

Suggested Reading: Root Canal vs Extraction: How & When to Choose

Myth 4: Root Canals are Only for Infected Teeth

It’s a common belief that root canal treatments are exclusively for teeth with an infection. However, this procedure is also performed in cases where the tooth’s pulp is damaged due to trauma, extensive restorations, or deep decay that hasn’t yet led to infection. The aim is to remove the inflamed or damaged pulp before it gets infected. This proactive approach can save the tooth from more severe complications that would necessitate more invasive procedures. Understanding the broader scope of root canal therapy can help patients seek timely dental intervention, preventing the progression of dental issues.

Myth 5: The Procedure Requires Multiple Appointments

The myth that root canal therapy requires multiple lengthy appointments is not always accurate. While the number of visits can vary based on the complexity of the case, many root canal treatments are completed in just one or two appointments. Advances in dental technology and techniques have made it possible to perform this procedure more efficiently than ever before. The initial appointment usually involves the actual root canal process, while a follow-up visit may be used for placing a crown or permanent filling. Understanding the actual time commitment for a root canal can ease patients’ concerns about the treatment process.

Myth 6: Root Canal Treatment is Not Long Lasting

A prevalent myth about root canals is that they are only a temporary solution and that treated teeth inevitably fail. In reality, root canal treatments have a high success rate and can last a lifetime with proper care. The key to longevity lies in good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. After a root canal, the tooth should be properly restored, often with a crown, to protect it and restore its full function. When well-maintained, a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy can remain healthy and functional for many years, challenging the misconception that they are not durable.

Myth 7: Root Canals Can Weaken the Surrounding Teeth

There’s a common belief that root canal therapy weakens the teeth around the treated one. However, this is not the case. A root canal treatment involves treating the internal pulp of the tooth and does not impact the strength or health of neighbouring teeth. The procedure is designed to be as minimally invasive as possible, focusing only on the affected tooth. Surrounding teeth remain intact and unaltered, ensuring that the overall integrity of your dental structure is maintained.

Myth 8: If You Don’t Feel Pain, You Don’t Need a Root Canal

Many assume that root canal treatments are only necessary for painful teeth. In reality, not all conditions requiring a root canal are painful. Sometimes, the nerve of the tooth may be dead or dying, causing little to no pain, yet still requiring treatment. Regular dental check-ups can help in identifying such issues early on, enabling treatment before pain or more severe symptoms develop. It’s crucial to remember that the absence of pain doesn’t always equate to oral health.

Dispelling these myths about root canal treatments is vital for patient education and informed decision-making. Understanding the realities of this procedure helps alleviate unnecessary fears and promotes better oral health outcomes. Modern dentistry has evolved significantly, making root canal treatments a safe, effective, and enduring solution for preserving natural teeth. Patients should always consult with their dental professionals for accurate information and guidance regarding the best treatment options for their specific dental needs. Remember, informed decisions lead to better dental health and overall well-being.

Root Canal Treatment at Dental Aspects: Combating Myths with Expert Care

At Dental Aspects, the top-rated dentist in Browns Plains, our root canal treatment is designed with patient comfort and dental excellence in mind. Our experienced team uses the latest techniques and technology to ensure the procedure is as painless and efficient as possible. We focus on preserving your natural tooth, alleviating pain, and preventing further dental issues, all while providing comprehensive care and support throughout the process. For those concerned about root canal myths, our dentists are always ready to provide clear, accurate information and personalised care. Visit our Root Canal Treatment page for more details on our approach and services.

Keep Reading: Understanding Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention Strategies


Dr. Asmita Premsegar

Dr. Asmita is the Principal Dentist at Dental Aspects, having studied Dentistry at Griffith University after completing the Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy degree in 2008. Passionate and experienced in all aspects of dentistry, Dr. Asmita is committed to making a positive contribution to the community and the oral health sector, and loves seeing her happy patients' smiles after each visit to our clinic.

About the Author

Principal Dentist

Dr. Asmita is the Principal Dentist at Dental Aspects, having studied Dentistry at Griffith University after completing the Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy degree in 2008. Passionate and experienced in all aspects of dentistry, Dr. Asmita is committed to making a positive contribution to the community and the oral health sector, and loves seeing her happy patients’ smiles after each visit to our clinic.

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