Top 10 Root Canal Myths

Are you needing to get a root canal done but you’re hesitant because you’ve heard so many negative things regarding this procedure?

Fortunately, many of the things you’ve heard surrounding root canals are not based in reality and are simply myths. 

There are many myths about root canals. These myths include root canals being painful, requiring several trips to the dentist, and that a root canal is not necessary if the tooth is not causing you pain. 

These myths have been around for decades and many people still believe them to be true today. For this reason, some people refuse to get one done.

In this post, we’ll debunk the 10 most common myths around root canals and hopefully ease your mind so that you can feel comfortable enough to get this procedure.

Myth #1: Root Canals Are Painful

The first and most common myth is that root canals are painful.

While this myth is somewhat based on truth since root canals were once a painful treatment decades ago, present-day root canals are less painful than they once were. 

In fact, the pain of a root canal is similar to the pain of a filling. So, if you’re familiar with fillings and have had them done in the past, you shouldn’t worry about getting a root canal done as these are no more painful than fillings. 

Myth #2: Root Canal Is Always Needed

The second myth we’re here to debunk is that tooth pain always means a root canal is needed. 

Many people associate toothaches of any kind with root canals and jump to the worst-case scenario of needing a root canal done. However, a toothache does not mean that a root canal is required. 

If you’re having a toothache, there’s no need to panic. While a root canal may be necessary in some cases, toothaches can also be the result of tooth decay, gum disease, cracked teeth, and other tooth and non-tooth-related issues.

Similarly, root canals don’t always cause pain, so don’t be surprised if you visit the dentist and learn that you need a root canal even though you haven’t had any pain.

Myth #3: Removing a tooth is better than root canal

Some people believe that pulling a tooth is better than getting a root canal done. However, this is another false myth that people should be aware of. 

Extracting a tooth means that your tooth will be gone forever unless you receive an implant. While getting an implant of a false tooth is definitely an option after extracting a tooth, it’s always best to save your natural tooth, if possible, as opposed to pulling it out or having it extracted. 

Myth #4: Root Canals Require Multiple Trips To Dentist

If you’ve ever thought that root canals require multiple trips to the dentist’s office, then you’re not alone. This common myth is believed by many individuals, but, like the other myths in this post, it is far from true. 

Some root canals may require two trips to the office, but, for the most part, root canals that require multiple visits are a thing of the past. With advancements in technology and techniques, root canals can be done within 60 to 90 minutes during a single trip.

Myth #5: They can make you sick

Have you heard that root canals can make you sick later in life?

Unfortunately, this is a common misconception that started out from a research study that has been debunked years ago.

Still, people have a hard time letting go which is why some people still believe that root canals can cause illnesses and make you more susceptible to diseases in the future. 

There is no scientific evidence that points to root canals being associated with the formation of other diseases in the human body. 

Myth #6: The Root is extracted

When you hear the words “root canal”, you may think that this procedure requires the root of the tooth to be extracted. However, this is not the case. 

A root canal procedure is done by removing any tissue inside the crown and roots that have been infected or inflamed as well as the nerve of the infected tooth. 

The roots are left alone and in place as they connect your teeth to your jawbone.

Myth #7: Root canal will fix your tooth

Many people think that having a root canal done will entirely fix the tooth; however, that is not the case. 

Root canals are simply the first step in helping your tooth become healthy again. A temporary filling is the second step, which is done after you receive the root canal. 

After two weeks or so, the temporary filling is replaced with a permanent restoration such as a crown.

Myth #8: Risky

Another myth about root canals is that the procedure is risky. 

While there are risks for complications no matter what procedure you have done, those associated with root canals are few and rarely occur. 

However, leaving an infected tooth alone and not receiving proper treatment can lead to complications and other dental issues to develop.

Myth #9: Flimsy tooth after root canal

Some people think that their tooth will still come out even after having a root canal done. 

However, as long as the tooth receives permanent restoration and is taken care of afterward, the tooth could remain intact for the rest of your life.

Myth #10: Can’t have root canal if you’re pregnant

“I’m pregnant, I can’t have a root canal” is a common misconception among pregnant women due to the x-ray that a root canal requires. 

While an x-ray does expose an individual to radiation, the radiation from a tooth canal x-ray is so minimal and is nowhere near the abdomen, so the risk to pregnant women is nonexistent. 


These 10 myths are commonly thrown around when root canals are discussed, but they are just myths and are not based in reality.

With so many advancements in techniques and technology, the root canal procedure has come a long way to making them safe and painless.  

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