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  • Dr. Barry Yu



Root canal treatment, often shrouded in myths and misconceptions, is a common dental procedure aimed at saving damaged or infected teeth. Despite its proven effectiveness in relieving pain and preserving natural teeth, many people harbor concerns about the safety and potential harm associated with root canal treatment. In this article, we'll debunk the myths surrounding root canal treatment and shed light on its safety and benefits.


Myth 1: Root Canal Treatment Causes Illness

One of the most pervasive myths about root canal treatment is the belief that it causes systemic illness or contributes to chronic health problems. This misconception stems from outdated research and unsubstantiated claims linking root canal-treated teeth to systemic diseases. However, modern scientific evidence overwhelmingly refutes this notion, demonstrating that root canal treatment is a safe and effective procedure with minimal risk of adverse health effects.


Myth 2: Root Canal Treatment Kills Teeth

Another common misconception is that root canal treatment kills teeth by removing their vital pulp tissue. In reality, root canal therapy is designed to preserve the natural structure of the tooth by removing infected or damaged pulp and sealing the root canal system to prevent reinfection. By eliminating bacteria and debris from the root canal, the tooth can be saved from extraction and restored to full function and aesthetics.


Myth 3: Root Canal Treatment is Painful

While root canal treatment has earned a reputation for being painful, advances in dental techniques and anesthesia have made the procedure relatively pain-free for the majority of patients. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area around the tooth, ensuring that you remain comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure. After root canal therapy, any discomfort or sensitivity can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medications and resolves within a few days.


Myth 4: Extraction is Safer Than Root Canal Treatment

Some individuals may opt for tooth extraction over root canal treatment due to concerns about safety or efficacy. However, tooth extraction carries its own risks and consequences, including:

  • Loss of natural teeth: Extracting a tooth may compromise your ability to chew, speak, and maintain proper dental alignment, leading to additional dental issues and the need for replacement teeth.

  • Bone loss: Removing a tooth can result in bone resorption and changes in facial appearance over time, affecting your oral health and overall aesthetics.

  • Cost and complexity: Tooth extraction may necessitate additional procedures such as dental implants or bridges to restore function and aesthetics, increasing the overall cost and complexity of treatment.

Root canal treatment is a safe and effective dental procedure that has helped millions of people preserve their natural teeth and enjoy a healthy, pain-free smile. By debunking common myths and misconceptions surrounding root canal therapy, we can empower patients to make informed decisions about their dental health and seek appropriate care when needed. If you have concerns or questions about root canal treatment, don't hesitate to consult with your dentist or endodontist to learn more about your options and alleviate any anxieties you may have. Your oral health is worth investing in, and root canal treatment can play a vital role in preserving your smile for years to come.

To understand more about root canal treatment, CLICK HERE.

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About Authors


Graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis (U.S.A.), major in biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Yu has further obtained his dental degree (Doctor of Dental Medicine) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (U.S.A.).  Dr. Yu is qualified to practice in the US, Singapore and Hong Kong, and has over 10 years of practicing experience in the US before starting both practices in Hong Kong and Singapore.


Dr. Chrissie Lam graduated from University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A.) with a bachelor degree in Nutritional Science before earning her doctorate degree in dentistry from University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (U.S.A.). In her 10 years of practice she took care of her patients, both in U.S.A. and Singapore with her warm demeanor and excellent clinical skills. 

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