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Common Misconceptions in Endodontics

Root Canals Hurt

According to the American Association of Endodontists, the perception of root canals being painful began decades ago when root canal treatments were painful.  Today, with modern technology and better anesthetics, most patients report a pain-free experience and can expect very little post-treatment discomfort.  Knowing what to expect while having a root canal can help ease a lot of anxiety.

Root Canals Require a lot of Visits to the Dentist

With today’s cutting edge technology, most root canals can be performed in one or two office visits.

Crowns Cause Teeth to Need Root Canals

Many people believe that having a crown on a tooth means that the tooth will eventually need a root canal.  Crowns do not cause the need for root canal therapy.  If a crowned tooth does require a root canal, it is most often the accumulation of multiple previous insults that overwhelm the pulpal tissues, including deep decay, trauma, or fractures. 

Root Canals Cause Illness

There is no evidence to support that root canals cause illness.  However, there is evidence to support the fact that people who have had root canals are no more at risk for developing illness than people who have never had root canals.

Root Canals Involve Removing the Roots of the Tooth

When the dentist or endodontist performs a root canal treatment, he or she remove the soft tissue from inside of the tooth.  The roots of the tooth are not removed.

Pregnant Women Can't Have Root Canals

Pregnant women can and do have root canals.  Having a root canal does require a small x-ray, but the radiation exposure is very minimal and the x-ray is aimed at the mouth, not the abdomen area.  If you are pregnant and your dentist needs to give you an x-ray, he will use a lead apron to cover your belly.  The anesthetics that dentists use are also safe for pregnant women.  Be sure to let your dentist know beforehand if you are pregnant.

Even With A Root Canal, The Tooth Will Come Out Eventually

If you have your tooth properly restored, maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist for regular checkups, your natural tooth can last for the rest of your life.

If the Tooth Doesn't Hurt, There is no Need for a Root Canal

While a throbbing toothache usually results in the need for root canal treatment, many times a tooth can require root canal treatment when there is no pain present.  Dentists and endodontists are specially trained to test a tooth to see if the pulp has been infected or damaged.  If this is the case, a root canal would be necessary to save the tooth.

Pulling the Tooth is Better than Getting a Root Canal

Keeping your natural teeth for as long as possible is very important for proper eating and chewing functions.  There are several options available for missing teeth, such as dentures, partial dentures, dental implants and fixed dental bridges, however, these alternatives can be much more expensive than saving your tooth with a root canal treatment.

After Having a Root Canal, My Tooth is Completely Restored

After having a root canal, it is extremely important to make a follow-up appointment with your dentist to have the tooth permanently restored.  After the pulp of the tooth has been removed, the tooth is at risk of fracturing.  A permanent restoration will help protect your tooth from fracturing and prevent the root canal space from becoming contaminated with bacteria.


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