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Getting a root canal in a dental chair at dentist's office

Perhaps no two words in the English language can send a shiver down the spine faster than “root canal”. While people may refer to root canal therapy in this shortened form, the root canal is a part of the tooth itself.

Is root canal treatment really that bad? This endodontic procedure has certainly gotten a bad rap. While no one is suggesting that they are as pleasant as a picnic, they are not quite as bad as many think. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about this type of endodontic treatment.

The Myths

Here are ten myths about root canal treatments that just don’t hold up to reality.

1. Root canal treatment is painful

The actual treatment is done with a numbing medication and local anesthetic. It is generally no more painful than the routine tooth extractions performed by your family dentist.

2. Root canal treatment costs too much

The cost of endodontic therapy, such as root canal treatment, is not prohibitively expensive. It will depend on your insurance coverage, of course, and costs vary by the type of tooth; front, bicuspid, or molar. The cost of the crown, should you require one, varies by the material its made from (metal, porcelain, ceramic, etc.).

3. Root canal therapy is risky

Root canal therapy is a safe procedure performed routinely across the U.S. every day. Complications are few, however, not having the treatment does pose a risk for further dental issues.

4. Root canal procedures are unnecessary

If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not a problem, so some might believe. The absence of pain does not mean there is no need for root canal therapy, however. Endodontists are trained to spot problems even if patients don’t feel like there is one.

5. Root canal treatment removes teeth roots

Some people believe that root canal therapy involves removing the roots of the tooth. Not true. Only the tissue or pulp inside the tooth is removed.

6. Too much time is involved

Root canal, or endodontic therapy, is not as time-consuming as many believe. It can generally be completed in as little as a single visit. Sometimes a second visit is required depending on the individual.

7. Pregnant women can’t have root canal treatment

This myth exists due to the minimal x-rays required which focus on the mouth, not the abdomen.

8. Crowns can cause root canals

False. Crowns do not cause root canal problems. They can develop regardless of the tooth covering.

9. Better to pull the tooth than to get root canal treatment

This depends on whether you think it is better to maintain your natural teeth for as long as possible or not. Most dentists agree that if a tooth can be saved, it should be saved.

10. After having a root canal, the tooth is completely restored

Not quite. Full tooth restoration is still required for proper dental care.

Schedule a checkup today!

Our partners at University Dental Associates are experts in root canal treatment. They also specialize in cosmetic dentistry, routine exams, cleanings, tooth extraction and repair, tooth replacement, and restoration. Schedule an appointment online today or call 708-304-8406.