The Truth on Root Canal Therapy

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
September 22, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  
Root Canal ImageWhether your doctor has recommended that you get root canal therapy or you’re just interested in finding out more about this dental procedure, the fact remains: there’s a lot of unreliable medical information floating around the web today. You want to get just the facts and weed out the truths from the half-truths and the full-on inaccuracies. So here you have it! We give you the top root canal therapy myths debunked!

Myth: Root canal therapy is painful.

Truth: This myth has been perpetuated by those who had root canals decades ago; however, with all the advancements in technology and anesthetics, it’s truly no different than getting a dental filling. If you already came into our office complaining about a severe toothache, we may have found tissue damage in your tooth and recommended a root canal therapy. During a root canal, we will remove any damaged tissue, which will actually relieve—not cause—pain.
When you hear root canal therapy, don’t cringe. While it might have gotten a bad rap over the years, this dental procedure is proving to many that it’s really nothing to worry about.

Myth: Root canal therapy requires multiple visits.

Truth: While root canals may seem like a rather drawn-out process, most of them can be completed in one—or sometimes two—appointments. A few factors go into whether you need only one visit, such as the severity of the infection and the root canal difficulty. Once you’re sitting down in the dental chair and we get started, the treatment takes only one to two hours if there are no complications.
However, if there is a severe infection, we may put a drug inside the tooth to disinfect the roots. If this is the case, we will have to finish the root canal treatment a few days later. If there are no infections or problems, there is no reason why your procedure couldn’t be done in just one quick visit.

Myth: The tooth needs to hurt before root canal therapy is needed.

Truth: While we did mention that infected tissue within your tooth could cause a pretty nasty toothache, this doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, some teeth that require root canal therapy are already dead (so there won’t be any painful symptoms). In these cases, root canals stop the tooth and surrounding tissue from becoming infected.
Your dentist will be able to find out if your tooth has already died through a regular, but thorough checkup. That’s why keeping on top of your dental appointments is very important. Using temperature and percussion testing, we can confirm whether your tooth has died and recommend root canal treatment.
Feel like you’re more knowledgeable on root canal therapy now? Have any questions for us before your upcoming treatment? If so, feel free to give us a call anytime or check our our root canal FAQs page. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
Ever had a root canal? Tell us about your experience, we would love to hear about it!