Root Canal Myths: Debunking Common Oral Misconceptions

A lot of thoughts flood through the minds of most people when they hear their dentist tell them they need a root canal. Endodontists often find themselves having to correct their client’s perception of the procedure and everything it involves. These myths can make convincing a patient about the necessity of a root canal quite challenging. We hope that by tackling these misconceptions head-on, will make it easier for you to listen to your dentist’s advice and hopefully improve your oral health.

1. Root Canals are Extremely Painful

It’s true that root canal procedures from decades ago weren’t the most comfortable procedures. There have been significant advancements in the dental instruments used by endodontists like apex locators and rotary tools. Operating microscopes give dentists a more complete view of the entire root canal and associated structures. The added dimension and improved tools allow dentists more control over the operation.

Dentists can now apply anesthesia to the area with more precision, making the procedure virtually pain-free for most patients. While there may be some discomfort experienced after the root canal, it can be controlled with pain medication and usually goes away within a week.

2. A Root Canal Involves Removing the Roots of a Tooth

The primary purpose of having a root canal is to save your natural teeth. A root canal does not involve removing the roots of your teeth. During the procedure, your dentist cleans and shapes the canals from the inside, then removes the pulp and tissue. They do take some of the insides of the root to ensure the removal of all bacteria. However, they leave the main root structure behind.

3. A Root Canal Isn’t Necessary if You Don’t Feel Pain

The primary reasons that a professional dentist might recommend a root canal include:

  • Having significant damage to the teeth
  • The presence of deep cavities
  • The presence of an abscess
  • Trauma to the tooth

Some people never experience any pain from these conditions. The root of the tooth may still become inflamed, which makes it a prime entry point for bacteria. If that bacteria manages to get into the root, that could lead to an infection. Repairing the damage with a root canal before that happens can save your teeth and spare you the possibility of becoming seriously ill.

4. Root Canals Can Lead to Illness

Rumors flourished that it’s possible to get cancer or other diseases by having a root canal. Those claims are based in a debunked research study from almost 100 years ago, written before dentists had a better understanding of modern medicine. In fact, you’re more likely to become ill if your tooth becomes infected because you did not have a recommended root canal.

5. Pulling a Tooth is Preferable to Having a Root Canal

As amazingly realistic as some bridges and implants appear, your best option is always to try and preserve your natural teeth. Even the best dental work can’t replace the feel and functionality of real teeth. Removing natural teeth should be a last resort. If your dentist believes that they can save your natural teeth with a root canal, it’s best to follow their advice.

6. I Won’t Need Further Dental Care After Having a Root Canal

One of the worst mistakes you can make after having a root canal is failing to go in for follow-up care. Your dentist will need to place a crown over your tooth within one month of the procedure. The temporary filling put in place to protect the pulp will only last a short period. Applying a permanent crown keeps bacteria from getting into that space.

7. Root Canals Do Not Prevent Tooth Loss

A proper restoration can last for a lifetime if you practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular checkups with your dentist.

8. Root Canals Require Multiple Visits

The advancements in dental technology now make it possible for endodontists to complete a root canal procedure with only one or two office visits.

We hope these answers alleviate your concerns about having a root canal. Make an appointment with Advanced Endodontics today by calling 352.404.5550 or scheduling a visit through our website. Rest assured, we will make your procedure as stress free and as comfortable as possible! 


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