Root Canals: Myths vs. Facts


When you think of getting a root canal done, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? There are many common misconceptions about this procedure. Read on to find some common facts and myths about this procedure that’ll help ease your anxiety!

Myth: It’s Painful
Root canals are infamous for being rumored to be painful. Most patients visit the dentist for a problem because their infected tooth pulp is causing them pain, so this can lead to feelings of anxiety about what will happen during the procedure.

Fact: Most Patients Experience No Pain
The majority of patients who get root canal surgery done experience no pain. Remember, your dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) is a professional that has years of experience and training. The doctor performing this procedure knows how to keep you pain-free!

Myth: Pulling the Tooth Is Better
Many people think that because their tooth’s nerves are dying or dead, the tooth is dead and will need to be pulled eventually. So why not pull the tooth instead of getting a root canal procedure?

Fact: Saving Your Natural Teeth Is Always the Best Option
Although your tooth’s pulp may be infected or dead and need to be removed, removing your natural tooth is not the best option. Saving your natural tooth will always be preferable to removing it. Removing your natural tooth means you’ll need partial dentures, dental implants, or a bridge to help fill the space. All this means even more dental work when you could have the problem solved with one root canal procedure and save your tooth!

Myth: No More Dentist Visits After the Procedure
Some people think that once they have the root canal procedure done, they need not return to the dentist.

Fact: You Need a Follow-Up Visit to Complete the Procedure
Not only is a follow-up visit crucial in order to ensure all is well with your mouth after the procedure, but you’ll also need a crown affixed to the tooth in order to protect it from further damage. Sometimes this is able to be completed with the root canal procedure, sometimes it’s not. Regardless, that follow-up visit is important!

Myth: I Don’t Have Symptoms, So I Don’t Need the Procedure
While some people experience excruciating pain when the pulp of their tooth is infected, other people won’t have any symptoms at all. If you have no symptoms, why would you need treatment?

Fact: If Your Roots Are Dead, You May Not Be Able to Sense the Infection
Just because you may not experience any symptoms doesn’t mean there’s not something wrong! Often times, if your tooth’s nerve is dead, you may not be able to know there’s an infection. You may have other symptoms of an infection, such as gum pain or a bad taste in your mouth.

Root canal procedures are done by experts who know what they’re doing. Being anxious about dental work is normal, but remember that your doctors will take great care of you. Your root canal procedure is meant to alleviate your painful symptoms, not cause them!

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Root Canals: Myths vs. Facts
There are many common misconceptions about root canals. Read on to find some common facts and myths about this procedure that’ll help ease your anxiety!


Dr. Richard Pollock
Dr. Richard Pollock

Dr. Pollock is a member of the American Dental Association, Virginia Dental Association, Northern Virginia Dental Association and the American Association of Endodontists. For more information on Dr. Pollock visit

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