Myths about Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment
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Root canals are one of the most misunderstood procedures in dentistry. There are more myths about endodontic treatment (San Diego) than any other service we offer at Downtown Dental Specialty.

How can you tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to root canals? These are the most common myths that our San Diego dentists hear and the truth behind them:

MYTH: Root Canal Treatments is Painful

Root canal treatment shouldn’t be any more painful than a regular dental filling. Endodontic treatment relieves tooth pain. It does not cause toothaches to feel worse or last longer. They don’t cause any additional discomfort. How long does a root canal take? Root canals take longer to complete due to the number of tooth roots involved. If you’re worried about your mouth getting sore from keeping it open so long, we can use soft props and numbing medication to ease the discomfort.

Root canals are often thought to be painful. But the truth is that the pain of abscessed teeth comes from putting treatment off for too long. These teeth can be difficult if not impossible to numb with local anesthetic, which is why antibiotics may also be used ahead of time. What happens during a root canal? We numb the tooth and remove the infected nerve. It eliminates the source of your pain altogether.

MYTH: Antibiotics Clear Up Abscessed Teeth

Let’s say our San Diego dentist suggests that you take an antibiotic before your root canal. After you take the medication, your tooth feels fine. Now what? Can you skip the endodontic treatment appointment?


It’s only a matter time before the abscess recurs, even with antibiotics. The antibiotic reduces the extent of infection (which is why your symptoms improve) but it doesn’t heal the source of it, such as a crack or open cavity.

Overuse of antibiotics can result in drug resistance. Plan to have your root canal completed within the ideal timeframe to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible during the procedure.

MYTH: You Don’t Need a Root Canal if Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt

Abscessed teeth don’t have healthy nerves to transmit painful stimuli like healthy teeth do. That’s why it’s physically possible to have severe decay without ever feeling anything.

Sometimes, a small cavity can cause extreme sensitivity or pain when you’re eating. At other times, they can be completely pain free without any symptoms whatsoever. Abscessed teeth are similar. Root canal treatment should not be determined by your pain level. Rather, it should be based on the extent of infection that is visible on your dental X-rays and during an exam.

MYTH: It’s Better to Pull a Tooth Than Get a Root Canal

You may think that having your tooth removed is the best, most cost-effective, and fastest way to solve all your dental problems. But once a tooth is pulled, it needs to be replaced with a new one. If it isn’t, all other teeth will shift and your bite will change. The bone can also shrink in that area, which can lead to premature aging in your lips, cheeks, and overall facial features.

Our San Diego dentists want to help you maintain your teeth as long as possible. Replacing missing teeth is always an option, but it does bring additional costs with it that you may not have considered.

MYTH: You’re Going to be in Pain After a Root Canal

After a tooth’s nerve has been removed, it is practically impossible for it to feel pain. We will remove the nerves inside of the tooth root. This eliminates the physical transmission of painful stimuli altogether.

Root canals physically leave your tooth with no way to interpret pain. That being said, it’s not unusual to experience some discomfort from at the injection site or simply having your mouth open for a longer amount of time. These problems are temporary and can be remedied with over-the-counter pain medication and warm compresses.

Root Canal Treatment Near You

When it comes to saving a tooth that has abscessed, endodontic treatment (San Diego) can often be the last resort. Fortunately, root canal treatment has never been easier or more painless thanks to modern technology. If you are suffering from a toothache, abscess, or a dying tooth, our San Diego dentists can help. For an appointment, call Downtown Dental Specialty today!