It will come as no surprise that many adults list having a root canal as their most feared dental procedure. But, this fear is often based on third-hand stories rather than personal information. Root canal treatment is the subject of many myths and legends, so it's time to dispel a few of these myths once and for all. Here are three myths about root canals which are just not true.

Myth 1: Dental Pain Means Root Canal Treatment

Some adults avoid going to the dentist when they experience dental pain because they automatically fear that root canal treatment is on the agenda. However, this is not always the case. Dental pain can be caused by many different issues including the need for a filling, gum disease or even just enamel sensitivity. In fact, you may need a root canal but not be experiencing any dental pain at all. This happens when the tooth is already dead and root canal treatment is the only way to prevent an infection. The only person who can tell you for certain if you need a root canal or not is your dentist after they have done a full mouth examination.

Myth 2: Root Canal Treatment Is Painful

No dentist starts each day hoping to inflict pain and misery on their patients, and when it comes to having a root canal, the goal at the end of the day is to relieve the pain you are experiencing rather than causing more pain for you. Just like when you have a filling or a crown fitted, your dentist uses a local anesthetic to make sure there is no pain during treatment. There may be feelings of pressure or very minor discomfort, but never pain.

Myth 3: Root Canal Treatment Can Make You Ill

A century ago, this myth was often true, but dentistry has come a long way in the past 100 years. In your mouth lives tiny bacteria, and you get rid of this bacteria by brushing your teeth twice a day, removing it from between the teeth by flossing, and also by using mouthwash. When a root canal is done, there is always potential for that bacteria to get into the area being treated. However, modern-day dentists use highly sterilised equipment and carefully researched procedures to minimise risk to the patient as much as possible.

If your dentist tells you that you need a root canal procedure then don't avoid having this done based on bad myths because your mouth will feel so much better after it is complete. To learn more about root canal treatment, talk to a dentist.