MYTH 1: Root canals hurt
Root canals used to hurt decades ago. However, with proper infection control and better anesthetics the experience should be no different than getting a filling.
MYTH 2: Root canals take several appointments to complete
Decades ago this was the case. But with today’s advanced technology, root canals are often completed in a single appointment.
MYTH 3: Crowns cause root canals
Quite the opposite! Crowns are the preferred treatment for fractured or cracked teeth and often will prevent the need for a root canal.
MYTH 4: Root canals can make you sick
Not true! In fact, root canals help eliminate infection. Through the use of antibiotics and techniques that deliver disinfecting agents within the tooth, this is often the first step to better oral health.
MYTH 5: Root canal = removing the roots of the tooth
A tooth is hollow and full of living tissue called the pulp. When the pulp dies or becomes infected, the dentist removes the pulp but leaves the structure of the tooth intact and the roots remain anchored in the bone.
MYTH 6: If you are pregnant, you can’t get a root canal
Dentists use numbing agents and medicine that is completely safe for pregnant women. The use of lead aprons during x-rays further protects these unborn babies. If you need a root canal and are pregnant, remember that clearing your body of a tooth infection is important for you and your baby’s health.
MYTH 7: Root canals don’t last long
Root canals are successful about 95% of the time. The chances of failure increase with recurrent infection, fracture, or failing to crown the tooth. In many cases, root canals can last a lifetime.
MYTH 8: If a tooth doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t need a root canal
While viewing x-rays, dentists often identify painless abscesses that require root canals. For this reason, it is important for patients to stay current on their x-rays because it is surprising how often this can happen.
MYTH 9: Pulling a tooth is better than getting a root canal
Once a tooth is pulled, other teeth can shift putting them at risk for future problems. Also, it is more expensive to replace a missing tooth than it is to save it.
MYTH 10: After having a root canal, my tooth is completely restored
The restoration immediately following a root canal is only temporary. Most teeth that have root canals are more brittle than their vital counterparts and require a permanent crown to protect it from fracturing. So it is important to schedule an appointment for a permanent crown either during or shortly after the procedure.