Uncovering 4 Myths About Root Canal Treatment

surprised woman with a toothacheOf the most frequent methods for treating extensive cavities, root canal treatment (RCT) can seem like the least appealing, making many patients procrastinate, or choose to wait until the tooth can be removed. Since it’s so often perceived as unpleasant, many patients also refrain from even discussing the procedure, instead believing the myriad myths that have sprung up surrounding root canal treatment. Given the importance of restoring severely infected teeth, your Polk City dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, uncovers four of the most common myths surrounding root canals, and why you shouldn’t hesitate to seek treatment as soon as possible if RCT becomes necessary.

It hurts

Dental discomfort is often described as the most debilitating pain, so it’s no surprise that the fear of an uncomfortable dental procedure would make a patient think twice about receiving treatment. The truth, however, is that root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain; it relieves it by removing the infection from inside of your decaying tooth.

It can make you sick

When patients become sick after a root canal treatment, it can be due to a number of factors; none of which usually pertain to the procedure itself. On the other hand, if you ignore treating severe tooth decay, the infection can cause an abscess, or pocket of infected puss, to form on the tooth’s root. Besides pain, common symptoms of a tooth abscess can include headaches, fevers, and other symptoms of serious illness.

It can wait

As a progressive disease, tooth decay won’t resolve itself if you just wait it out. Instead, the infection and pain will grow worse until the decay completely consumes the tooth and it falls out, or requires an extraction.

It’s better to just remove the tooth

With the exception of your third molars, or wisdom teeth, tooth extraction is never really a first choice of action; in fact, it’s typically a last resort. Losing a tooth affects the way your bite functions, and can lead to serious issues with the teeth that remain. While extraction may seem like less of a hassle than a root canal treatment, the procedures you’ll have to go to restore your smile afterwards make it a more complicated, and less beneficial, option.


Dr. Ryan Hussong is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental in Polk City office today at (515) 984-6001. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Polk City, Ankeny, Grimes, Ames, Johnston, Urbandale, and Des Moines.