Why Are People Afraid Of Root Canals, And Is It Justified?

Dentist Blog

Root canals get a bad rap. This procedure can potentially save a tooth from dying and needing a full replacement and can save you from a lot of pain and risk of infection. But if that's the case, why are so many people terrified of the idea of getting a root canal? Here's where some of the anxiety stems from and why you shouldn't worry about it.

Longer Procedure

The truth of the matter is, getting a root canal isn't a much more stressful experience than simply having a cavity filled. However, it is a longer procedure.

Root canals take longer than filling a simple cavity because more of the tooth needs to be drilled. With a cavity, only the damaged portion of the tooth is removed and then replaced with a filling. With a root canal, the full interior pulp of the tooth is drilled away and then filled with a filling. This results in a slightly longer procedure, which can make some people feel more stressed out thinking about it. But you don't need to worry: while it will take a little longer than a cavity, the experience should be about as pain-free and safe as a filling.

Drilling Sounds

Some people get stressed out by hearing a dental drill. It's somewhat understandable; even if you're not afraid of what it can do, the noise it makes is high-pitched and somewhat unpleasant to listen to. And since root canals take longer than a standard tooth filling, chances are you'll be listening to that drilling sound for longer than when having a tooth filled.

If the noise of a dental drill bothers you, you can always ask or bring your own earplugs to the dentist's office. This will block out the majority of the sound and should help you to feel more relaxed.


The last main reason for root canals being so feared is simply that they have a bad reputation. It's not clear how this reputation got started, however. Considering that what precedes a root canal usually causes a lot of pain and consternation, it's possible that people just get scared when they hear that they need a root canal after having already been hurting for a while.

Root canals provide a valuable service that can preserve a tooth so that you don't have to spend time and money on getting a replacement later on. Try not to be afraid of having a root canal. Chances are your first experience with one will be a pain-free and relatively low-stress experience.

To learn more about root canal services, contact a dentist near you.


19 March 2020

To Tell the Tooth: A Dental Blog

Do you care for your teeth like you should? Most people brush their teeth, but so many people rush through this process and are not as careful as they should be. Still others avoid flossing. A lack of dental care over the years can lead to increased decay. Thankfully, we have dentists who can treat decay with fillings, crowns, and in some cases, root canals. Dentists also provide preventative care. They can clean your teeth and use things like fluoride treatments to strengthen your enamel. The more you know about dental care, the better you'll be able to care for your mouth, so feel free to read some of the articles on this website.