Are root canals really as painful as everyone thinks? Are toothaches the only sign you need a root canal? Dr. Dylan Donnelly busts these common root canal myths in this special Root Canal Awareness Week edition of MouthBusters.
Myth 1: “I’m scheduled for a root canal this week. Are they really as painful as everyone thinks?” – Angie from Madison
Dr. Dylan Donnelly: “The answer to that question is no, they’re not. I know everyone’s heard horror stories or they’ve seen on movies or TV about shows how bad root canals are. The way we do things now, with the new technique of rotary files, and the effectiveness of the anesthesia, actually makes a root canal procedure really pretty easy and straight forward. As I was saying, the rotary files, we used to have to go in with single files and kind of twist each one and it can take several hours. Now, you’re usually in and out of here in about an hour, hour and a half. So, usually pretty painless, and also a lot faster than it used to be and usually pain free afterwards.”
Myth 2: “My friend told me a toothache is the only sign a root canal is needed. Is this true?”– Samantha from Verona
Dr. Dylan Donnelly: “No, a toothache is not the only sign that a root canal is needed. Although, it is the number one reason a root canal is needed, there’s a couple of other things that kind of play into the tooth needing a root canal. One other major one is kind of a foul taste in the mouth, which means that the tooth is probably infected. But that can happen a lot of times without pain or a toothache. The other one is discoloration of the tooth. When the nerve dies, it looses blood supply, and sometimes it can turn a gray or a black color, which can be another sign that a root canal is needed on the tooth.”