The Root Canal Misconception

  • April 26, 2016

When it comes to dental procedures, there’s nothing more infamous than the root canal. But fortunately, this all comes down to a few popular misconceptions.

When it comes to virtually any healthcare procedure, misconceptions are the enemy of good decisions. Why? Because misconceptions force ordinarily smart patients to make decisions based on fear and anxiety, which can lead to not getting the procedure at all or waiting and waiting until the problem becomes something much more serious.

The first major misconception with root canal treatment is the actual name of the procedure. More often than not, we hear patients say, “Do I need a root canal?”  While this is technically true, it actually means something much different than intended, and that’s. Because the term “root canal” is actually the name of the anatomical space within your tooth. On the other hand, root canal therapy (or endodontic treatment, to be exact) is what actually cleans out the infection in your tooth and helps ensure a long future filled with healthy teeth.

The second misconception plaguing root canal treatment is the widely held belief that it’s bloody, uncomfortable, and painful. This myth comes from a few separate sources. First, there’s the fact that dental technology has advanced years and years. While the drills used years ago were hardly more advanced than a common handy-man’s drill, the reality is much different today. Modern dental tools do everything they can to minimize vibration and maximize comfort for a procedure that is hardly more uncomfortable than a simple filling. On top of this, anesthesia in “the olden days” was hardly more than a couple slugs of whiskey. Today, modern anesthesia means you won’t feel a thing, and for some of the more anxious patients it’s even possible to sleep through the entire process.

A third and final misconception about root canal treatment is that it’s only used for severely delayed or rotting teeth. In fact, this isn’t always the case. No matter what, if your dental pulp (the delicate tissue inside your tooth) becomes infected or inflamed , there’s a good chance you’ll need root canal treatment, and that can occur from something as simple as a sports injury or a careless bite into the wrong piece of food.

So what’s the moral of the story? When it comes to root canal treatment, don’t believe the rumors!