Myths about Root Canals


So, you’ve been informed that you need a root canal. If you’re like most patients your mind immediately goes to images of drills and pain. But the reality is that couldn’t be further from the truth. At Endodontics Limited Dr. Steven Elkhal has your comfort in mind at all times. Our goals are to identify the source of your discomfort and alleviate the pain as quickly as possible using the most cutting-edge therapies. Don’t let all of the myths surrounding root canal therapy stop you from getting this effective tooth-saving procedure.

Myth: Root Canals Hurt
Truth: 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, root canal treatments are no more painful than having a filling. Knowing what to expect while having a root canal can help ease a lot of anxiety

Myth: Root canals are too painful, it would be better to simply have the tooth pulled.
Truth: While it is painful to have a damaged tooth, root canal therapy simply cleans the inside of the tooth and should not cause additional pain. Advancements in modern technology make it easy for Dr. Elkhal to eliminate your discomfort during the actual root canal therapy and many patients feel relief directly following their procedures. It is always better to attempt to save the original tooth instead of pulling it. Keeping your natural teeth for as long as possible is very important for proper eating and chewing functions.

Myth: You will need a prescription for Vicodin or another controlled drug to manage the pain.
Truth: If you experience post-operative pain, Dr. Elkhal recommends 800mg of Ibuprofen every 8 hours. All double blind studies have shown that 800 mg of Ibuprofen is far superior to any other pain medication in controlling dental pain.

Myth: Smoking is not going to affect the healing process.
Truth: Smoking impairs your body’s ability to recover from procedures like root canal therapy. It is recommended to avoid smoking for at least 24 hours following your procedure.

Myth: After a root canal, the tooth will need constant care.
Truth: While the tooth may be tender for a period of time following your root canal therapy, you should be able to resume regular dental care such as tooth brushing and flossing once the final restoration is complete.

Myth: Root Canals Involve Removing the Roots of the Tooth
Truth: When the Dr. Elkhal performs a root canal treatment, he removes the pulp from inside of the tooth. The roots of the tooth are not removed

Myth: Root Canals are only needed if there is pain
Truth: Root canals are not only designed to save living teeth, but also to keep dead teeth from becoming infected. A tooth isn’t just enamel; it also contains nerves and tissue that can become infected or inflamed. Sometimes the patient is not aware of pain, even if a root canal is needed.

Myth: Crowns Cause Teeth to Need Root Canals
Truth: 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 could be that the tooth has abscessed or that decay has gotten underneath the crown and reached the pulp of the tooth.

Myth: After Having a Root Canal, My Tooth is completely Restored
Truth: 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 can become very dry and brittle. Having a permanent restoration will help protect your tooth from fracturing.


  1. says

    I’m going to need to have a root canal, so I’m glad that you talked about how it’s no longer as painful as it once was. I’ve had a filling before; I think I’ll be able to handle this! To be honest, I was putting off talking to an endodontist and scheduling an appointment because I was afraid to get the procedure done. But now that I know that there’s nothing to be worried about, I’ll take care of that on Monday!

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