Debunking 3 Common Myths About Root Canals

Posted on: 13 January 2015

Generally, a root canal is recommended by a dentist when a tooth has suffered from extensive decay that a simple filling cannot remedy. Specifically, a root canal may become necessary once tooth decay has reached the pulp of the tooth and caused an infection. Whether you've been told you need a root canal and are skeptical or are simply curious about the procedure, there are some myths that need to be debunked.

A Root Canal Isn't Necessary if You're Not in Pain

So many people make the mistake of assuming that because they're not in any pain, their teeth are perfectly healthy. Some people, then, are shocked and skeptical when a dentist tells them they need a root canal procedure. In reality, a root canal can be needed, even if the patient isn't experiencing any pain. When this is the case, it's usually because the dentist has caught the infection in its early stages. If left untreated, the infection will worsen over time, and the pain will eventually be excruciating. Better to take care of it now rather than later.

You're Better Off Having Your Tooth Extracted

Another misunderstanding regarding root canals is the assumption that, even if you get a root canal, you're eventually going to lose that tooth—so why not just have it extracted now? In reality, this couldn't be further than the truth. A root canal can actually save a tooth from needing to be extracted down the road. Tooth extraction should always be seen as a last resort, as have a tooth removed not only detracts from the appearance of your smile, but could put you at risk of developing gum disease and other health ailments.

Root Canals Require Multiple Visits to the Dentist

Whereas root canals may have required several appointments to complete in the past, many advancements have been made and this is no longer the case. In most cases, a root canal procedure can be completed in just one visit to a dentist (such as Pooley Dentistry). In some cases, you may be instructed to return for a quick follow-up in the weeks following your initial appointment, but this is just done to ensure that the procedure was successful and that everything is healing up as expected.

Now that you know the truth behind some of the most common root canal myths, perhaps you'll feel a little more at ease in the event that you ever need to have one.