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For many people, the mere mention of a root canal can cause a shiver down the spine. Frequently, the fear is based more on myths and misunderstandings than on the true nature of the procedure.┬áIn this comprehensive guide, we aim to demystify the root canal, shedding light on its purpose, the procedure itself, and the many benefits it offers. By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what a root canal is and why it’s an essential dental treatment.

a young girl getting her mouth checked by dentist

What is a Root Canal?

At the core of each tooth is a chamber filled with pulp, which is a soft tissue containing blood vessels and nerves. A root canal is a dental procedure that treats infections in this pulp. Contrary to popular belief, the procedure itself is not painful; in fact, it is performed to relieve the pain caused by the infection.

Why Do You Need a Root Canal?

There are several reasons one might need a root canal:

  1. Deep Decay: Untreated cavities can reach the pulp, causing an infection.
  2. Cracked or Chipped Tooth: Physical damage can expose the pulp to bacteria.
  3. Repeated Dental Procedures: Frequent treatments on a single tooth can weaken and expose the pulp.

Understanding the Root Canal Procedure

  1. Diagnosis:

    The dentist starts with an X-ray to view the shape of the root canals and check for any signs of infection in the surrounding bone.

  2. Anesthesia:

    Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area and ensure the patient is comfortable.

  3. Pulpectomy:

    An opening is made in the tooth to remove the infected pulp.

  4. Cleaning:

    The dentist cleans out the infected tissue and reshapes the canal.

  5. Filling:

    The cleaned canal is filled with a biocompatible material to prevent future infections.

  6. Restoration:

    Often, a dentist places a crown on the tooth to restore its shape and functionality

Debunking Root Canal Myths

  • Myth 1:

    Root canals are painful. Truth: Modern techniques and anesthesia ensure the procedure is as pain-free as a regular filling.

  • Myth 2:

    It’s better to extract the tooth. Truth: Natural teeth preservation is always the best option. A root canal allows you to keep your natural tooth.

  • Myth 3:

    Root canals cause illnesses. Truth: There’s no scientific evidence linking root canals to diseases elsewhere in the body.

Benefits of a Root Canal

  • Pain Relief:

    Root canals treat the source of dental pain, providing immediate relief.

  • Tooth Preservation:

    It allows you to keep your natural tooth, preventing gaps or misalignment.

  • Cost-Effective:

    Ultimately, preserving a natural tooth tends to be more cost-effective than extraction and replacement

patient lying on dental chair smiling


Root canals, crucial for preserving the natural tooth and averting complications, are essential dental procedures. Nevertheless, modern dentistry, countering the myths and misconceptions, guarantees that these treatments are comfortable and beneficial.

It’s worth noting that even renowned public figures opt for root canal treatments. For instance, Mirilis DDS, a prominent figure in the dental community, recently underwent this procedure. Just like countless others, they too recognized the importance of preserving their natural tooth and ensuring their oral health.

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