Common Myths and Misconceptions about Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment, often simply referred to as a root canal, is a common dental procedure aimed at saving a tooth that is infected or severely decayed. 

Despite its importance in preserving dental health, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding RCT teeth treatment that can lead to unnecessary fear or hesitation among patients. 

Here, we debunk some of the most prevalent myths associated with root canal treatment.

Myth 1: Root Canal Treatment is Painful

One of the most widespread myths about root canal treatment is that it is extremely painful. In reality, advancements in dental technology and anesthesia have made root canals relatively painless procedures. Dentists typically administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth, ensuring that the patient feels little to no discomfort during the procedure. Patients may experience some mild soreness or discomfort in the days following the treatment, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Myth 2: Root Canal Treatment Causes Illness

There is a long-standing myth that root canal treatment can cause illness or systemic health problems. This misconception originated from outdated research that has since been debunked. The truth is that root canal treatment is a safe and effective procedure endorsed by dental professionals worldwide. By removing infected tissue and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection, root canals help to eliminate bacteria and preserve oral health.

Myth 3: It’s Better to Extract the Tooth

Some individuals believe that extracting a tooth affected by infection or decay is a better option than undergoing root canal treatment. However, tooth extraction should generally be considered a last resort. Preserving natural teeth is crucial for maintaining proper chewing function, preventing neighboring teeth from shifting, and preserving the jawbone structure. Root canal treatment allows patients to keep their natural teeth, which is typically the best option for long-term oral health.

Myth 4: Root Canal Treated Teeth Do Not Last

Another common myth is that teeth treated with root canal therapy do not last long. In reality, the success rate of root canal treatments is high, with many treated teeth lasting a lifetime with proper care. After the root canal procedure, a crown or filling is usually placed on the tooth to restore its strength and functionality. Practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly and visiting the dentist for routine check-ups, can help ensure the longevity of the treated tooth.

Myth 5: Root Canal Treatment is Time-Consuming

Some patients believe that root canal treatment requires multiple lengthy appointments. While the duration of the procedure can vary depending on the complexity of the case, advancements in dental technology have streamlined the process, making it more efficient. Many root canal treatments can be completed in a single visit to the dentist, particularly if the infection is caught early and the tooth structure is relatively intact.

Myth 6: Root Canal Treatment is Expensive

Cost concerns often deter individuals from seeking necessary dental care, including root canal treatment. While root canal therapy may seem expensive upfront, it is often more cost-effective in the long run compared to tooth extraction followed by tooth replacement options like dental implants or bridges. Dental insurance typically covers a portion of the cost of root canal treatment, making it more accessible for many patients.

Myth 7: Root Canal Treatment Causes Sensitivity

Another misconception is that root canal treatment leads to increased tooth sensitivity. While it is normal to experience some sensitivity immediately after the procedure, this typically subsides as the tooth heals. In fact, root canal treatment is intended to relieve the pain and sensitivity caused by infection or decay by removing the damaged tissue inside the tooth.


Root canal treatment is a valuable dental procedure that can save a natural tooth from extraction and alleviate pain caused by infection or decay. It is important for patients to understand the facts and dispel the myths and misconceptions that surround this common dental treatment. 

By consulting with a qualified dentist and discussing any concerns, individuals can make informed decisions about their oral health and receive the necessary care to maintain a healthy smile for years to come.