Root Canal Myths Debunked

Common misconceptions and myths about root canals could have you avoiding a dental procedure that dramatically improves your oral health. Before you completely rule out getting a root canal, we want to debunk some of the most common root canal myths. By providing you with the truth about root canals we give you the information you need to make an informed decision about your dental care.

Why There are So Many Myths About Root Canals

A number of things played a role in creating myths and spreading misinformation about root canals. Some of those things include:

  • Old dental technology – advances in dental technology have improved the entire root canal experience
  • Publication of biased medical studies and research that were conducted by individuals who support uncommon or unsubstantiated medical/dental beliefs
  • Stories from patients who underwent root canals in the past – dental patients could have a bad and extremely painful experience if they visited a dentist who doesn’t specialize in root canals. Those patients will then share their stories with others who will then pass that information on to others. Over time, people start believing that all root canals are painful and bad.
  • False information spread or shared on online forums and websites

The Truth About Root Canals – Debunking 5 Common Myths

The following are five common root canal myths that many of our patients have heard.

Myth #1: Root Canals can Cause Cancer or Other Health Problems

No medical studies or research links root canals to cancer or other illnesses/health problems such as strokes, heart attacks, or diabetes.

This myth started when an article was published around 2012 on a well-known website. In the article there was a reference to a medical study that was conducted over 100 years ago that suggested that root canals may cause cancer. This was proven to be incorrect in 1950. The use of century-old research in a recent article caused many people to develop the belief that root canals and cancer/other health problems were linked.

Myth #2: Root Canals are Extremely Painful

A combination of improvements in technology, use of modern dental equipment, and the development of stronger, more efficient, anesthetic has improved the patient experience when it comes to root canal treatment. With the use of the right dental equipment, advanced technology, and anesthetic, you shouldn’t experience any pain when getting a root canal.

Myth #3:  It Takes Multiple Office Visits for a Root Canal

Several decades ago, it would take four, five, or even six office visits to complete a root canal. Thanks to advances in technology, most root canals can be completed in a single office visit. A second office visit may be needed to restore the tooth with a filling or a crown but the actual root canal treatment is usually completed in just one office visit.

Myth #4: Root Canals Only Delay the Need to Remove a Tooth

If you properly restore your tooth after a root canal with a crown or filling, practice good oral hygiene, and schedule regular dental checkups/cleanings, the tooth may never need to be extracted. Proper restoration, good oral hygiene, and regular checkups/cleanings will keep your natural teeth – even if they needed a root canal – healthy and strong so they never need to be removed.

Myth #5: Root Canals Remove the Roots of Your Tooth

Root canals are designed to remove the soft center part of the tooth known as the pulp. They do not remove the roots of the tooth.

If you have any other questions about root canals or want more information about root canal therapy, our endodontist can help. Call our office to schedule an appointment to speak with our experienced endodontist.