Top Myths about a Root Canal

Root Canal MythsRoot canal treatment often elicits fear and anxiety in individuals due to various myths and misconceptions surrounding the procedure. This article debunks the top myths about root canals to provide clarity and alleviate concerns.

Myth 1: Root Canals Are Extremely Painful

One of the most common misconceptions about root canals is that they are excruciatingly painful. However, dental technology and anesthesia advancements have made root canal procedures virtually painless for patients. Our office utilizes local anesthetics to numb the area, ensuring minimal discomfort during treatment. Moreover, many patients feel relief from the pain associated with infected teeth following a root canal.

Myth 2: Root Canals Cause Illnesses Elsewhere in the Body

There is a widespread belief that root canals can lead to systemic illnesses such like arthritis or heart disease. However, this myth stems from outdated research that has since been debunked. Numerous scientific studies have found no evidence to support the notion that root canal treatment contributes to systemic health issues. In reality, a root canal is an excellent way to preserve natural teeth and prevent the spread of infection.

Myth 3: Extraction Is Always Better Than Root Canal Treatment

Some believe that extracting a tooth is preferable to undergoing root canal therapy. However, tooth extraction should be considered a last resort, as it can have extensive consequences for oral health and overall well-being. Root canal treatment allows for preserving the natural tooth structure, maintaining proper chewing function, and preventing adjacent teeth from shifting out of alignment.

Myth 4: Root Canals Require Multiple Appointments

In the past, root canal therapy often involved multiple appointments over several weeks. However, advancements in endodontic technology have streamlined the treatment process, allowing many procedures to be completed in a single visit. Single-visit root canals offer convenience and efficiency for patients, minimizing the time spent in the dental chair while achieving optimal results.

Myth 5: Root Canals Lead to Tooth Discoloration

It is a common misconception that teeth become discolored following root canal treatment. While it is true that teeth may appear slightly darker after the procedure, this discoloration is often temporary and can be addressed through various whitening techniques. Additionally, advancements in dental materials have reduced the likelihood of discoloration, ensuring natural-looking results for patients undergoing root canal therapy.

Myth 6: Root Canals Are Only Necessary When Experiencing Severe Pain

Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not exclusively reserved for severe pain or discomfort cases. In many instances, dental infections can develop without causing noticeable symptoms initially. Regular dental check-ups enable dentists to detect signs of infection early on and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include root canal therapy. Addressing dental issues promptly can prevent the need for more extensive procedures.

Myth 7: Root Canals Are Not Effective and Have a Low Success Rate

Root canal therapy has garnered a reputation for being ineffective and having a low success rate. However, numerous studies have shown that root canals are highly successful in saving teeth and alleviating pain associated with dental infections. Success rates for root canal procedures range from 85% to 95%, making it a reliable treatment option for preserving natural teeth and restoring oral health.

Myth 8: Root Canals Weaken the Tooth

Some believe root canal treatment weakens the tooth’s structure, making it more vulnerable to fracture or damage. On the contrary, root canal therapy involves removing infected or damaged tissue from the inside of the tooth while preserving its outer structure. Following the procedure, the tooth is typically restored with a dental crown, which provides added strength and protection. As a result, teeth that have undergone root canal treatment can function normally for many years to come.

Myth 9: Root Canals Are Expensive and Not Covered by Insurance

Cost concerns often deter individuals from seeking root canal treatment, as they believe it to be expensive and not covered by dental insurance. However, the cost of root canal therapy is often comparable to that of tooth extraction, especially when considering the long-term benefits of preserving natural teeth. Additionally, many dental insurance plans cover endodontic procedures, making root canal treatment a financially viable option for patients.


In conclusion, root canal treatment remains one of the most effective ways to save natural teeth and alleviate pain caused by dental infections. By debunking common myths and misconceptions surrounding root canals, individuals can make informed decisions about their oral health and seek timely treatment when needed. It is essential to consult with a qualified dentist to address any concerns or questions regarding root canal therapy and explore the best options for maintaining a healthy smile.