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Common Misconceptions About Root Canal Recovery 

Ever wondered if root canals are as painful as they say?  

Root canals are among the most feared and misunderstood dental procedures. Despite being a common treatment, misconceptions about root canals persist. Various horror stories circulating on the internet have caused unnecessary anxiety and hesitation. 

59% of people fear getting a root canal more than speaking in public. These statistics highlight the pervasive fear and misunderstanding surrounding root canals. However, root canals are one of the most common dental procedures in the US. 

In this article, we’ll list and debunk common root canal myths and the process of root canal recovery. Read on to learn more. 

Myth: Root Canals Are Unbearable and Painful 

The idea that root canals are painful is one of the most common misconceptions. This myth stems from the days when dental technology and pain management were not as advanced. 

Nowadays, with modern anesthesia and techniques, getting a root canal is no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. In fact, dentists perform the procedure to ease the pain caused by an infected tooth. 

Myth: Root Canal Recovery Is Long and Difficult 

Many believe that recovering from a root canal is a long, arduous process. In reality, root canal recovery is generally smooth and straightforward. Most patients can even return to their normal day-to-day activities after in 24 hours.  

After the procedure, patients tend to experience some sensitivity or mild discomfort. Still, these symptoms don’t last more than a few days. Patients can also manage these symptoms with over-the-counter pain relievers

Myth: Root Canals Cause Illness 

This misconception dates back to outdated and debunked research from a century ago. Currently, there is no scientific proof that links root canals to chronic diseases. 

The truth about root canals is that they are safe and effective procedures. Their main purpose is to stop infection in the tooth and protect it from future infections. 

Myth: It’s Better to Pull the Tooth Than Have a Root Canal 

Dentists almost always suggest that saving your natural tooth is the best option. With a root canal, you can maintain your natural smile. It also prevents problems like shifting teeth and difficulty biting that may result from lost teeth. 

While tooth extraction might seem like a simpler solution, it often leads to more complex dental problems. This often results in the need for costly replacements like bridges or implants. 

Myth: Root Canals Procedures Requires Many Appointments 

In the past, root canal treatment might have required several visits to a specialist called an endodontist. However, current dental technology and techniques have made the procedure more efficient. 

Nowadays, practices often provide patients with a referral to see an endodontist if they need a root canal. These specialists often complete most root canals in a single appointment. The entire procedure is even faster when the infection is detected early, and the tooth is found in good condition. 

Myth: Root Canal Procedures Are Only Necessary When You’re in Severe Pain 

Root canals are not always performed because of severe pain. Sometimes, we may suggest a root canal to treat a tooth that has cracked, damaged, or deep decay. Early intervention can help avoid later, more severe pain and infection. 

Myth: Root Canals Kill the Tooth 

A root canal procedure removes rotting tissue inside the tooth, but it does not “kill” the tooth. After a root canal, the tooth is hollow but can still function once it’s restored with a filling or crown. The procedure preserves the tooth’s structure, allowing it to stay in your mouth and continue to function like your other teeth. 

Myth: You Don’t Need a Root Canal if the Pain Goes Away 

Pain from a tooth infection may subside if the nerve inside the tooth dies. However, this doesn’t mean the infection is gone. 

In fact, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth or body, leading to more serious health issues. A root canal removes decaying and infected tissue and prevents further complications. 

Myth: Root Canals Are Not Effective Long-Term Solutions 

Root canals have a high success rate and can provide a permanent solution to tooth infection. With good oral hygiene and frequent dental visits, the treated tooth can last as long as natural teeth. The effectiveness of root canals will depend on the quality of the procedure and the patient’s commitment to maintaining oral health. 

Myth: Root Canals Are Expensive and Not Worth the Cost 

While root canals can be costly, they are often more affordable in the long run compared to tooth extraction followed by a dental implant or bridge. Saving your natural tooth helps keep your teeth aligned. It also reduces the need for costly and extensive dental procedures later on. 

Root Canal Recovery: What to Expect 

After debunking these myths, it’s important to understand what root canal recovery entails. Here’s what you can expect: 

Post-Procedure Sensitivity 

It’s normal to feel some sensitivity in the treated tooth and the surrounding area for a few days. You can typically manage this with over-the-counter pain medications. 

Care Instructions 

Our dentist will give you detailed post-care guidelines. This might involve avoiding hard or chewy foods until the tooth has been completely restored. 


A follow-up appointment may be necessary to ensure proper healing. This also gives our dentist the chance to place a permanent restoration on the treated tooth. 

Oral Hygiene 

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial. Brush and floss daily, and schedule regular dental appointments to maintain your oral health. 

Signs of Complications 

Root canal complications are rare. However, you should contact our dentists if you experience severe root canal pain, swelling, or signs of infection. 

Following our dentist’s instructions and maintaining good oral hygiene are crucial for a successful recovery and long-term dental health. If you observe any issues or unusual symptoms, make sure to get in touch with your dentist. 

Learn About Root Canal Recovery From Professionals 

Root canals are now a routine and effective way to save infected or rotting teeth. Understanding the truth about root canal recovery and procedures can ease anxiety and encourage timely dental care. Now that you know the truth, you can approach the procedure with confidence and ease. 

Looking for trusted dental care, top-notch general dentistry, and orthodontic services? At McIlwain Dental Specialists, we offer excellent services designed to meet the requirements of each member of your family. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!