Restorative Dentistry |3 min read

Root Canal Side Effects

Smiling man in the dental chair, possibly after a root canal

When it comes to dental procedures, few evoke as much apprehension as root canals.

This standard and safe dental treatment has been the subject of numerous misconceptions and concerns, often centered around the side effects.

However, at Smile Ballard, we’d like to debunk the myths about root canal side effects and provide some expert insight to help you decide if a root canal is right for you.

Myth 1: Root canals cause illness and systemic health problems

One of the most pervasive misconceptions about root canals is the belief that they can lead to various illnesses and systemic health problems.

This idea stems from early 20th-century research by Dr. Weston A. Price, which suggested a connection between root canal-treated teeth and diseases.

However, modern research has discredited these claims. In recent years, numerous well-designed studies have conclusively demonstrated a link between root canals and systemic health problems doesn’t exist.

Furthermore, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), the leading authority on root canal treatments, affirms the procedure is safe and doesn’t contribute to overall health issues.

Myth 2: Root canals weaken the immune system

Another prevalent misconception surrounding root canals is that they weaken the immune system. Some worry that root canal-treated teeth may become a breeding ground for bacteria, causing a chronic immune response. This fear is unfounded.

Our Seattle dentist performs root canals to ELIMINATE infection and preserve the tooth. We remove the infected pulp inside the tooth during the procedure and then thoroughly cleanse and disinfect the space. We then seal the tooth to prevent recontamination.

By removing the source of infection, root canals actually aid the immune system by eliminating harmful bacteria and promoting healing.

Myth 3: Root canals cause cancer

A particularly alarming misconception suggests that one of the root canal side effects is the possible onset of cancer.

This belief is rooted in outdated research and lacks scientific evidence. Extensive studies conducted in recent years have found no association between root canal treatments and cancer risk.

Moreover, cancer is a complex disease with multifactorial causes. Blaming root canals as a sole contributor isn’t supported by scientific consensus.

When performed by a skilled dentist (like ours) using modern techniques and adhering to strict sterilization protocols, root canals are a safe and effective treatment for dental infections.

Myth 4: Root canals result in prolonged pain and discomfort

One of the common fears associated with root canals is the belief they cause lingering pain and discomfort after the procedure. We perform root canals to relieve pain, not to generate it.

Before a root canal treatment, our dentist administers a local anesthetic to ensure a pain-free experience during the procedure.

Afterward, you may have some mild soreness or sensitivity, which is normal, and you can easily manage it with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medication from your dentist.

Root canals have long been shrouded in myths and misinformation regarding their safety and potential side effects. By dispelling myths and embracing accurate information, you can make informed decisions while prioritizing the well-being of your teeth and gums.

At Smile Ballard, our Seattle dentist encourages you to ask any questions and know the truth about this procedure and others to be actively involved in your oral health and treatment.

So, whether you have questions or suspect you need a root canal and would like to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Book an Appointment Online


We’re happy to serve our Seattle, WA, patients. But we’d like to note we’re also available to those in the suburbs of Kirkland, Yarrow Point, Redmond, Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Issaquah, and Mercer Island.


Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published.