• How Painful is Getting a Root Canal?

    The phrase “root canal” can be both intimidating and scary. Many people dread this dental procedure, which is usually recommended for people experiencing severe tooth pain and inflammation. However, there’s no need to fear.

    root-canalWhy Might I Need a Root Canal?

    If a root canal, or endodontic treatment, has been recommended by your dentist, it’s most likely because you are experiencing pain, swelling, sensitivity, or discomfort in your teeth and gums.

    Such symptoms are often caused bacterial infection of the nerve chamber from deep decay or inflammation of the nerve tissue resulting from dental disease or injury (such as a chipped tooth).

    A root canal focuses on removal of diseased nerve tissue, called pulp, in the root canal space and disinfection of that space. The nerve canal is then sealed to prevent re-infection.

    Because the pulp is filled with blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues, it is prone to infection and other problems. Nerves may die, which can cause pain and lead to an abscess. Root canal therapy can safely and effectively relieve these symptoms by simply removing the nerve tissue, sterilizing, and sealing the pulp and root canals inside the tooth.

    What to Expect During a Root Canal Procedure

    During a root canal, an endodontist or dentist removes the pulp, cleans the inside of the tooth, and seals the canal with a material called gutta-percha. The endodontist starts by using a local anesthetic and a protective dental dam to keep the area clean. Then, the dentist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Dental files and other precise instruments are used to clean the inside of the tooth and shape it for filling.

    Once this is completed, the dentist fills the root canals with rubbery gutta-percha, sealing them with adhesive cement. Sometimes a temporary filling closes the opening. Later, a follow-up appointment allows the dentist to place a crown or filling on the tooth for protection and reinforcement.

    How Painful Is A Root Canal?

    Modern root canal techniques can be performed without discomfort most of the time, and most people do not find them uncomfortable at all. However, there are parts of the procedure during which your teeth and gums may feel sensitive and strange. Your endodontist uses a local anesthetic to keep the area numb, so you don’t actually feel any pain. If you do, please communicate this to your dental practitioner; he or she will take steps to remedy the situation.

    During recovery, you may feel soreness or stiffness in your teeth and jaw. However, the anticipation of having a root canal is often worse than the reality. It is no more traumatic than any other routine dental procedure.

    A root canal can be a good investment in your oral health because afterwards, your treated teeth look and act completely normally. They’ll last just as long, and may even protect natural teeth from excessive wear, which reduces the need for future dental work. If a root canal is something your dentist recommends, you need not be afraid of the procedure and you may have reason to applaud the results.

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