Root Canal Pain – What To Expect And When To Get Help
When you’re told by your dentist that you need a root canal, pain may be the first thing that comes to mind. If there’s one dental treatment that has the ability to send a shiver down the spine of most people, it’s root canal treatment.
Everybody dreads the thought of having root canal treatment or therapy, and yet, in reality, it’s a treatment that comes with benefits.
Not only does a root canal get you out of pain, but it saves a tooth that may otherwise have to be extracted. Other benefits include:
- Renewed biting force and normalised sensation
- Efficient chewing
- The protection of other teeth from excessive strain or wear and,
- A natural appearance
If you are feeling nervous or worried about root canal treatment pain, then it may help to know that the basics of root canal therapy is similar to that of a tooth filling and can be completed in one or two visits.
Furthermore, at Beyond Infinity Dental, we provide some of the latest pain relief options as well as dental sedation, where requested. We aim to make your treatment as comfortable as possible and ensure that you don’t feel a thing!
What is a root canal?
A root canal is in fact an endodontic treatment. This takes its name from two Greek words: ‘endo’ meaning ‘inside’ and ‘odont’ meaning ‘tooth’. In other words, endodontic treatment deals with the inside of a tooth.
Beneath the tooth enamel, there is a hard layer called dentin and beneath this, there is a layer of soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp houses a collection of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues and is known as the root canal system.
Stretching from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root, the root canal system helps to keep a tooth nourished.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Since our dentists carry out the procedure using a local anaesthetic, it’s no different to having a tooth filled or getting a wisdom tooth removed. However, a root canal is often tender or numb following the procedure and you may feel a little mild discomfort for a few days. This can usually be relieved with over-the-counter painkillers.
How to know if you need root canal treatment?
Root canals are typically required for damaged teeth, teeth containing deep cavities, or problems arising from a previous filling. Most patients discover that they need a root canal after experiencing sensitivity, particularly to hot and cold temperatures.
What about symptoms?
Signs that you may need a root canal include:
- Extreme pain when chewing or biting
- Swollen or tender gums
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Deep decay or gums that are darkening or,
- Pimples on the gums
- Root canal treatment is generally needed when x-rays show a bacterial infection has damaged the pulp. If treatment isn’t carried out, the pulp will begin to die, allowing the bacteria to multiply and the infection to spread.
What is the root canal procedure?
The root canal procedure is usually completed within a couple of appointments. During the first visit, you’ll be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area and a rubber dam will be placed over the area to keep it dry and free from saliva.
A tiny opening is then drilled into the tooth enamel to access the infected nerve. Then, using the latest endodontic rotary equipment, the damaged nerve or root is carefully removed.
The cavity is then carefully cleaned, sterilised, shaped, and filled with a biocompatible material or polymer such as gutta-percha. This is placed and sealed with a cement-like adhesive to prevent bacteria from re-entering the root canals.
A further visit is normally required for the dentist to place a dental crown to protect the tooth and restore it to its full function.
Will the tooth need special care after root canal treatment?
You should take care not to bite or chew on the treated tooth until it has been restored with a dental crown. Until this has been done, the tooth is susceptible to fracture, which is why we arrange an appointment for your crown to be fitted as quickly as possible.
Otherwise, the only thing necessary is to continue practising good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, and regular check-up and clean appointments.
So now you know more about root canal pain or rather, the lack of it, hopefully, you won’t feel quite so anxious about the procedure.
If you suspect you may need root canal treatment then why not make an appointment with the experienced friendly dentists at Beyond Infinity Dental. We use the latest techniques and dental equipment to deliver treatments that are as pain-free as possible for our patients.
Call today on (02) 8806 3799 or book online today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.