Saving a Tooth: Debunking the Myths around Root Canals

The dreaded Root Canal. A prognosis that not many patients want to hear. But why has such fear built up around this routine procedure? We’re digging into a few common rumours about this tooth-saving procedure.


Myth 1: Root Canals are Unnecessary.

Tooth decay caused by cavities (bacteria) is the number one most common disease affecting teeth, by far. This is where restorative dentistry, aka fillings, come in. But in the case where a cavity/decay is too deep, then the next step may be a root canal. Removing the pulp- the inner nerves and blood vessels- when they become inflamed or dies off and becomes infected is the safest and best option for saving your tooth.

Even if you have a deep cavity that does not cause pain, there are greater health risks at play. The infection can pass through the canal of your tooth and into the surrounding jaw and bone. This can lead to abscesses and greater infections- all which can be extremely painful and dangerous to your overall health.

As Ontario Dental Association president Dr. David Stevenson said recently, “If a tooth can be saved, it is best to do so; a natural tooth is still the best tooth.”

Myth 2: Pulling the Tooth is a better option. 

Modern dentistry has evolved in such a way that a root canal is a painless, routine procedure. Due to excellent local anesthetics- or ‘freezing’- and excellent advances in all tools used in the dental practice, have made root canal treatments more predictable, safe, and successful than ever before.

It is important to remember that each tooth is a living organ in your body and that your mouth relies on every tooth for eating, speaking, and drinking. If a tooth is not replaced after being pulled, your teeth can shift in your mouth which can cause other problems. Replacing teeth with an artificial option- bridge, denture, implant, etc- may or may not be the best option for a patient due to their costs.

Myth 3: Root Canals are dangerous.

It is important to note that any infection left untreated in the body can lead to any number of dangerous health concerns. Root Canals are an important step in preventing the spread of infection.

There have been many scientific studies showing there is no correlation between root canals and cancer, Alzheimer’s and MS. The most dangerous of the rumours associated with root canals stem from research conducted in the 1920s. Decades of peer-reviewed scientific research has disproved this.


As with all things related to health, it is very important when you conduct your own personal research about any procedure you are considering having done, to always rely on medical and scientific experts. The digital age has created an entirely new world of access to many, many unreliable sources who rely on scare tactics. Remember- delaying a root canal can allow infection to spread.

Do you have questions about Root Canals? Give our office a call today and we are happy to speak with you about any and all concerns!


Oasis Family Dental
501 Edward St. N Thunder Bay, ON P7C 4R1
Phone: (807) 623-2662