Root canal therapy is considered to be the most feared dental procedure. Most people fear this procedure based on someone else’s experience, not their own. Because of this, patients are likely to make silly decisions like having a tooth extracted instead of saving it.

Here are some root canal myths that may change the way you view root canals.


1) Root Canal Therapy Is Painful: In most situations, people require root canal therapy because they are experiencing pain caused by infection, a fractured tooth, or a nerve that is slowly dying. All of these conditions can be very uncomfortable. Root canal therapy is a procedure where the nerve of the tooth (the source of the problem) is removed. Many people who have had root canal therapy report that the procedure was comfortable (although long) and felt immediate relief.

2) Completing A Root Canal Requires Several Appointments: While this may be true in some cases, most of the time root canals only require ONE appointment. More than one appointment depends on a few factors. 1) Severity of the infection, 2) Difficulty of the root canal (shape of the nerves, location of the tooth in the mouth, etc), 3) Referring a patient to an endodontist.

Properly restoring a root canalled tooth may require a couple more appointments, but these appointments are not associated with the actual root canal procedure.  These other appointments are part of properly restoring the tooth with crown work.

3) Root Canal Therapy Can Cause Illness: Dr. Weston Price conducted research in the early 1900’s. His research stated that bacteria caused within an endodontically treated tooth were linked to various health concerns. Recent attempts to confirm Dr. Price’s research have been unsuccessful in proving his work to be correct.

4) Teeth Need To Hurt Before A Root Canal Becomes Necessary: Your tooth may already be non-vital. In most cases, non vital teeth are caused by trauma to the tooth. A root canal may be recommended because non-vital teeth are prone to infection. Your dentist can perform several tests to see if the tooth is vital.

5) The Benefits Of A Root Canal Don’t Last Very Long: Some patients report that months after their root canal was completed, their tooth fractured. When root canal therapy is performed, the blood supply is removed causing the tooth to become brittle. If your tooth is not properly restored with crown work, the tooth may crack. This is not caused by a failed root canal, but a failed restoration. 

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