4 Myths about Root Canals

September 13 2022 by Mills Haven Dental

4 Myths about Root Canals - Mills Haven Dental

So, you’ve heard the news that you need your first root canal! You might feel a little nervous, but we’re here to put your mind at ease. Root canals are one of the most misunderstood procedures out there.

We want to tell you about four myths that simply aren’t true so that you can feel more prepared for your root canal.

Myth #1: Your Roots Are Removed

Because the procedure is called a “root” canal, many people have the impression that a root canal involves removing the tooth’s roots. That’s not how a root canal works—your roots will be preserved and without them, your tooth couldn’t be anchored into your mouth.

A root canal procedure focuses on another part of your tooth called the root canal (go figure). This is also sometimes referred to as the pulp canal. The canal is the space inside the root/tooth that is filled with pulp. The tooth’s pulp is a mass of connective tissue that can sometimes get infected. Once infected, it needs to be flushed out, and that’s where a root canal procedure comes into play.

Myth #2: Root Canals are Painful

Your Roots are Removed

Many people dread going to the dentist, especially when they need to get a root canal for the first time. You might expect it to be highly uncomfortable or painful, but that’s not the case! In fact, it’s the total opposite… You can expect your root canal to help remove any pain caused by infected pulp.

This myth likely originated from a time when root canals were painful and not down to a science yet. Nowadays, root canals are such a routine procedure for dentists that you can be confident it’ll go smoothly without error.

You can also expect your dentist to have a pain management plan throughout the procedure; typically, dentists will apply both topical and local anesthetics. You might feel anxious about an injection into your gums to “freeze” you, but trust us… it’s worth it!

Myth #3: Needs Multiple Visits

Some people think that root canals are a gruelling and time-consuming experience. They picture multiple visits to the dental office, with hours of lying in the dentist's chair and no end in sight. We’re here to tell you this is another myth!

Occasionally, you might need to go into your dentist’s office for a second session or follow-up session, but typically, you only need one trip to the dentist to get the job done right. Most dentists can complete the actual procedure in 60 minutes or less. You should account for extra time for the freezing to take hold.

Myth #4: It’s Better to Pull the Tooth

You may be told that if a dentist recommends a root canal, you should just get the tooth pulled entirely. This is only true in some cases, and it’s pretty rare. Usually, it’s better to do whatever you can to preserve a natural tooth. Unless your dentist tells you otherwise, a root canal is preferred over an entire extraction.

Contact the Mills Haven Dental team if you’ve been experiencing tooth pain!