Do Dentists Lie About Root Canals: Separating Facts from Fiction


A Root Canal is a dental procedure capable of sending chills down the spine of the bravest patient. The procedure seems urgent in a few cases, and we will discuss it later. Amidst all the horror stories circulating about the pain and discomfort associated with it, an intriguing question starts floating in the patient’s mind: Do Dentists Lie About Root Canals?

Sometimes, the doctor’s prescription and the current tooth condition determine the necessity of the procedure. The root canal, also known as endodontic therapy, aims to prevent teeth from decaying or infection.

However, sometimes, a doubt has evolved that questions the integrity of the dental profession: Is root canal merely a profit-driven recommendation or a necessity? 

This blog is intended to dig deep into determining whether dentist prescriptions with root canal procedures can be trusted. Tighten your seat belts as we will try to clear up the confusion and discuss under what condition a root canal procedure is recommended. Additionally, we will discuss the:

  • Understanding the process of root canal
  • Can it be avoided?
  • Can it cause focal infection
  • What are the problems associated with the procedure

Do Dentists Lie About Root Canals

Do Dentists Lie About Root Canals
  • Yes, you can be right. Sometimes, a patient might question a dentist’s recommendation to lie about the root canal treatment option. There are cases when a patient encounters these kinds of problems, and questioning medical ethics becomes a necessity. 
  • However, we cannot and should not generalize the whole medical fraternity or dentists in this case with such a provocative statement. We must keep in mind that few individuals can compromise with their work ethics.
  • It is a dentist’s moral obligation to prescribe treatment based on the diagnosis, professional judgment, requirements, and preferences of a patient. Root canal treatment can be recommended when the decay of a tooth is severe and needs immediate intervention.

Point to remember: A second opinion can be considered if a patient suspects that the dentist is recommending unnecessary treatments or is not accurately describing the need for a root canal procedure.

Necessity of a successful treatment plan: Open communication and trust are the basic foundation for the success of any treatment plan, including maintaining good oral health.

Understanding Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a dental procedure that is quite effective in saving tooth decay caused by infection.

Understanding Root Canal Treatment

1. Why do I Need it?

  • Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp inside a tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected. This infection can be caused by decay, cracks in the tooth, or repeated dental procedures.
  • Symptoms that can lead to root canal treatment are pain, sensitivity, or swelling.

2. Procedure

A root canal treatment is usually performed in two sessions. Here is a step-wise description.

Step 1: The patient is given general anesthesia to numb the area around the area.

Step 2: A small opening in the crown is made by the dentist to access the pulp.

Step 3: The infected or inflamed pulp is safely removed.

Step 4: The inside of the infected tooth is thoroughly cleaned to remove bacteria and debris. 

Step 5: The tooth is filled to prevent reinfection.

Step 6: Temporary filling is used to seal the opening of the tooth.

Step 7: Restoration is done to protect the weakened tooth, and for this, you might need a crown.

3. Benefits 

A root canal treatment offers benefits like.

  1. Saves the infected tooth.
  2. Help to subside the pain.
  3. It prevents infection from spreading.

Also read: Decoding Why Orthopedic Surgeons Hate Podiatrists?

Necessity of Root Canal

There are cases when performing a root canal becomes necessary. This generally happens in the pulp, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connected tissues that become infected or damaged. Other reasons are,

Necessity of Root Canal

Decaying Tooth: When an infection in a decaying tooth reaches deep into the pulp, it can lead to pulp infection or inflammation.

Dental Trauma: When a tooth undergoes traumatic conditions like fractures, cracks, or injuries, which can lead to infection.

Dental Abscess: It is a collection of pus formed inside teeth, gums, or bones that hold the teeth in place. This condition can indicate the spread of infection in surrounding tissues, and hence, a root canal becomes a necessity.

Dental Procedures: Repeated dental procedures can lead to inflammation or infection in the pulp.

Why to Avoid Root Canal

Root canal procedures are critical at times and are considered a necessity when recovering a decaying tooth with other procedures becomes problematic. 

A root canal procedure ultimately depends on whether the patient is willing to do it. Few patients prefer a complete extraction rather than going for it.

Below are some reasons why we should avoid root canals.

1. Complete Decay or Unmanageable Conditions

  • It is a possibility that tooth decay has reached a stage when recovery has become almost impossible.
  • A severely decayed tooth, fractured, or with unrepairable damage is not viable for a root canal. In such cases, a complete tooth extraction with an implant or bridge is more appropriate.

2. Alternative Treatment Options

  • A root canal can be a discomforting and painful procedure. Not everyone can handle it, so some choose other treatment options, like natural remedies.
  • Remember, if you are opting for another treatment option, consult with a dentist. They can determine the safety and efficacy of the chosen treatment.

3. Financial Conditions

  • A root canal is a costly treatment, but it can cost more if it involves other procedures like dental crowns.
  • It also depends on insurance coverage plans. In the United States, typically 50-80% of the final cost is covered. However, it can be difficult for some people who are not financially well off. 

4. Concerns of a Failure

  • A root canal is treated safely and has a high success rate, but it can involve a failure risk. Infection can reappear sometimes.
  • Although the chances of failure are very low, this can still be a prominent reason a patient opts out of the procedure.

Can Root Canal Cause Focal Infection

Can Root Canal Cause Focal Infection
  • The focal infection theory states that localized infection in one part of the body can spread to other parts and make them sick, too. This subject depends on one’s opinion, and some health professionals believe infection in teeth where a root canal is necessary can cause infection in other body parts. However, there is not much evidence to support this theory.
  • Root canal treatment minimizes tooth decay by removing infected or damaged tissues. The procedure is considered revolutionary in safeguarding teeth and preventing complications only if performed with utmost precision.
  • Sometimes, there is a direct relation between focal infection and the root canal procedure. When complications associated with the procedure, like incomplete removal of infected tissues or incomplete sealing of the tooth, can increase the chances of further infection. In such cases, there are greater chances this infection spreads across surrounding tissues or enters the bloodstream, causing health problems.

Problem Associated with Root Canal

A root canal is a revolutionary dental procedure that aims to save a tooth that has suffered severe decay or infection. The treatment is considered safe, but it does have its downsides.

1. Failure to Heal

  • In some cases, a tooth that underwent a root canal procedure can fail to heal in time, which can cause treatment delays.
  • In diabetic patients, delay in the healing process after root canal treatment is inevitable because, in this chronic disease, the body’s ability to heal decreases significantly. High blood sugar can impair the immune system, which makes it difficult for the body to fight infection and heal wounds.

2. Discomfort and Infection

  • Many patients can feel discomfort after going for a root canal. Although, this condition fades away with time or can be handled easily with over-the-counter medication.
  • Reinfection is possible in some cases if the bacteria are not entirely removed during the procedure.
  • The symptoms of reinfection can be pain, swelling, or periapical tooth abscess.

3. Nerve Damage

  • During the root canal procedure, the surrounding nerves of the infected tooth can get damaged.
  • Symptoms of this can be numbness, tingling, or altered sensation in lips, tongue, or cheek.

4. Accessory Canals and Overfilling

  • During the procedure, accessory canals in the infected tooth are highly likely to be missed, which can lead to reinfection.
  • Root canal overfilling beyond the tip of the tooth’s root can irritate and discomfort surrounding tissues.

5.Fractures and Spread of Infection

  • The tooth that underwent a root canal treatment generally becomes brittle and is susceptible to a fracture.
  • In rare cases, after a patient undergoes root canal treatment, they become susceptible to spreading the infection to a neighboring tooth. 


This blog revolves around the enthralling topic of whether dentists lie about root canals. We cannot entirely neglect the fact that misdiagnosis or unnecessary procedures happen once in a while, but it is not fair to blame the entire profession for such happenings. A root canal is a critical dental procedure that focuses on saving a decaying tooth; in a few cases, it becomes necessary to perform it mainly when there is a risk of spreading the infection in nearby tissues. But is it ethical to prescribe the procedures in any case? In this blog, we have listed the complications of the root canal procedure; if your dentist has recommended it to you, get a second opinion.

Mansi Balodi
Mansi Balodi
My life is always on a run but I try to find time for myself to let my wisdom and knowledge help and guide you. In my blogs, I will try to demystify the complexities of topics and will connect with you with ease of understanding. So let's explore the treasure of the world with words.

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