Debunking Myths About Root Canal Treatment

Debunking Myths About Root Canal Treatment
Author: Posted: September 1st, 2022 Category:

No dental procedure is more misunderstood than a root canal. But you have nothing to fear once you know the facts.

The mere mention of a root canal usually instills panic in most people who mistakenly believe the procedure is painful and lengthy. But according to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), some 25 million root canals are performed each year safely, relieving patients of the extreme pain of a damaged, infected tooth.

A root canal is one of the most common endodontic procedures. Yet so many dental patients may delay necessary treatment because of unfounded myths. If you have an aching tooth, don’t hesitate to go to the dentist just because you may hear the dreaded words “root canal.” Once you know the facts about root canals, you’ll have nothing to fear.

Six myths about root canals

Within your tooth is a mass of tissue and nerves known as the pulp. When the pulp becomes infected or damaged, tooth decay results, leading to a very painful tooth. The dentist removes the inner pulp and nerves during a root canal, saving the tooth and stopping the pain. 

Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, misconceptions about the procedure have distorted the truth about this effective, pain-saving technique. Let’s debunk the most common myths about root canals.

Myth #1: Root Canals are extremely painful. Before the procedure, your dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding gums with local anesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel any pain. Any slight and temporary discomfort you may feel from the procedure is certainly much less painful than a persistent raging toothache.

Myth #2. It’s better to extract the tooth. Actually, it’s better to save your natural tooth rather than extract it. The dentist preserves much of your tooth by performing a root canal. A root canal is a much less complicated (and less expensive) procedure than having a dental implant or bridge to replace a pulled tooth.

Myth #3. Root canals cause illness. A lot of misinformation about root canals swirling on the Internet stems from a 1920s study that suggested the procedure caused illness in other parts of the body. But that study has long been discredited. The AAE firmly states there is “no valid, scientific evidence” to support that claim.

Myth #4. A tooth that doesn’t hurt doesn’t need a root canal. Your tooth may be infected even if you don’t feel any pain. Based on an examination and X-rays of the pulp, your dentist may determine the necessity for a root canal. One sign of an infection is a pimple near the tooth. The pimple drains pus from the infection, which keeps the pressure off the tooth, so you don’t feel pain. Treating the infection stops it from spreading to other tissues.

Myth #5: A root canal removes the root of the tooth. A root canal only removes the infected pulp and inflamed nerves. The root of the tooth stays intact.

Myth #6. A root canal requires many, many appointments. The initial root canal takes one, maybe two, appointments to complete. After the root canal, the dentist fills the tooth with a temporary filling to protect it from re-infection. After a short time, you’ll go back to the dentist for a permanent restoration, most likely a crown. While the root canal takes one visit, you’ll have to return for a couple of follow-up appointments. But once it’s all done, you’ll have a restored, pain-free tooth!

Have a toothache! See an Espire dentist.

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Colorado Springs location today! Our highly trained dentists have successfully performed hundreds of root canals, so you’re in good hands! Don’t live near our Colorado Springs office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Colorado Springs
8610 Explorer Drive #315
Colorado Springs, CO 80920