Common Root Canal Myths You Should Stop Believing

brian rich dmd

People searching for information about Knoxville root canal therapy don’t always find the correct answers to their questions. For this reason, many end up believing outdated facts and unproven theories surrounding this procedure. We’re here to set the record straight by debunking common root canal myths you shouldn’t fall for.

A digital illustration showing the process for a Knoxville root canal

The Truth Behind Common Root Canal Myths

MYTH #1: “You can’t have root canal therapy if you have an infection.”

The truth is that a root canal procedure helps relieve pain from an infected or damaged tooth. In addition, it protects the tooth against further damage. During treatment, the dentist removes the infected or damaged pulp, a soft tissue inside the tooth that houses the nerves and blood vessels.  

First, they make a small hole in the top of the tooth’s crown before cleaning out the root canals inside the tooth. Next, they fill the cleaned and disinfected canals with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha before sealing the tooth. Lastly, they place a dental crown or other restoration on top of the tooth to strengthen it and prevent reinfection.  

Leaving an infected tooth untreated can lead to an abscess that can cause severe swelling, pain, and fever. Worse, the infection can spread to other teeth or other parts of the body.

MYTH #2: “Dentists always use root canal therapy for treating tooth pain.”

Root canal treatments are only necessary for pain resulting from infected teeth. However, it’s important to note that not all infected teeth cause tooth pain. In addition, a person can experience a terrible toothache due to impacted teeth, gum disease, or sinus pressure. Such cases don’t require root canal therapy.

MYTH #3: “You don’t need root canal therapy if you’re not in pain.”

A tooth’s pulp can still suffer infection or damage when bacteria penetrate the tooth through a chip, crack, or cavity. However, it’s worth noting that not all infection results in a terrible toothache. For this reason, some people may not experience pain even if they’re dealing with an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment.  

MYTH #4: “Root canal therapy is painful.”

Contrary to popular belief, you won’t feel pain while your dentist works on your infected tooth. Root canal treatments eliminate pain triggered by the pus and bacteria that irritate the nerves inside the infected pulp. Root canal therapy isn’t as painful as it once was decades ago because of modern technology and anesthetics. Today, the entire process can be as quick and painless as having a cavity filled.  

MYTH #5: “Pulling a tooth is better than getting a root canal treatment.”

Patients can always opt for extraction and replace their missing teeth with dentures, fixed bridgework, or implants. However, saving a natural tooth is always better than extracting it. Moreover, removing teeth without planning to replace them can lead to bite issues that may require more extensive treatment in the future.  

MYTH #6: “Root canal therapy can make you ill.”

In 1910, Dr. Weston Price claimed that a root canal treatment increases a person’s risk of developing chronic health conditions. However, his research was eventually proven flawed because of his experiment’s poorly controlled conditions. Today’s endodontic specialists confirm that root canal treatments provide pain relief and improve a person’s overall health and wellness.  

Close up of a patient's face while a dentist performs a Knoxville root canal

Do You Need Knoxville Root Canal Therapy?

Dr. Brian Rich, DMD, and his team of dental professionals are committed to providing comprehensive and personalized dental care using state-of-the-art equipment in a safe and comfortable environment. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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