Dr. Jessica Kagan Busts Root Canal Myths

Anytime I tell someone I am a dentist, they immediately get a look of horror on their face and cry out “I hate the dentist!” Once they find out I am a root canal specialist, they practically run across the room with their hand over their mouth! Time and again I ask why and the reason is a misconception. So today, I’m here to bust these root canal myths!

Patients often fear that root canals and other endodontic treatments cause pain and illness and should be avoided at all costs. The truth is, root canals are done to eliminate pain in an infected or cracked tooth! A root canal actually gives you the chance to save your natural tooth. Here are some of the other mistakes I hear:

Myth 1: Omg! You need a root canal?! They are SO painful!

The goal of root canal treatment is to remove an infected nerve from the patient’s tooth, therefore removing any pain or infection. Adequate anesthesia is achieved prior to beginning any drilling. Root canal specialists are experts at pain management and in most cases, root canals are treated painlessly, quickly and comfortably.

Myth 2: The root canal will damage my tooth.

Bottom line is that root canals do NOT damage your tooth and they do NOT cause illness or disease; they remove disease! You likely needed a root canal to begin with because you lost substantial tooth structure from a deep cavity or crack, the root canal will remove any infection prior to your general dentist placing a brand protective new crown on the tooth.

Myth 3: Why bother? Why don’t I just pull my tooth out?

In the unfortunate occurrences where a tooth cannot be saved, dental implants, dentures and bridges are options for replacing missing teeth. Of course, if possible we always try our best to save your natural teeth. Extracting a tooth and replacing it with a bridge or implant requires more treatment time than a root canal treatment. Root canal treatment followed by a permanent filling or crown has a high success rate and may help you retain your natural tooth for a long time.

Hopefully, this will help you dispel your fears about root canal treatment at Premier Dental Associates of Lower Manhattan. It is always better to treat a tooth as soon as a cavity or infection is identified BEFORE any pain or swelling begin. In these cases, root canals can be fast and even quite comfortable!