Many of us dread hearing the word root canal. Many wonder what to expect for root canal treatment. When you think of the procedure to correct a root canal, pain may come to mind. However, though a certain level of discomfort is expected, excessive pain is not normal.
Lucky for us, modern technology now allows us to save our natural tooth while going through the procedure in a typically pain-free and easy manner. The use of anesthetics makes this procedure of root canals a lot more safe and quick.
However, to avoid letting the tooth get to an extreme, it is advised to seek professional help in the event of a toothache. Also, stay on top of your check-ups and teeth cleanings. At Dental One Care, we recommend a check-up before an infection has spread throughout the root system.
Fast facts on pain after a root canal:
- Our tooth is preserved while only the diseased tissue is treated
- Prior to the procedure, an anesthetic is given to the patient. Therefore, the pain is decreased to levels equivalent to that of a basic filling.
- In the case of failure, redoing a root canal can help in fixing the problem
How much pain is normal?
A slight feeling of tenderness or sensitivity is expected for a few days. The reasons for this are:
- Tissues around your gums remain swollen and inflamed. Although the nerve root may have been removed, there may still be small nerves in ligaments that surround the tooth.
- Dental instruments may have irritated the area surrounding the tooth, which will cause some tenderness.
- The tooth can experience pain and soreness if the case of a filling is too high or even slightly higher than the surrounding teeth.
In most scenarios, the sensitivity and possible discomfort that you may experience from the root canal is expected to go away in a week or two at most.
The reason why pain may still persist could be due to some of the following reasons:
- A leakage in the restoration
- Unhygienic dental conditions and poor oral health
- Tooth cracking or breaking down
- The existence of an extra canal that goes unnoticed by the endodontist
- Error made by the dentist or endodontist
Managing root canal pain at home
We asked our friend, Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, Kentucky, about managing root canal pain at home. Dr. Neda suggests using over the counter prescription for pain management can be sufficient for relieving discomfort after the procedure. Also, don’t forget to practice good oral hygiene by flossing and brushing regularly.
How is a root canal performed?
First, an endodontist takes an X-ray of the tooth before the procedure. Next, a local anesthetic is given to numb the gum area where an opening is made to access the structure inside. A rubber-like substance is used to fill the root canal, called gutta-percha, which is then sealed within the tooth. Then, a temporary filling is placed to protect the insides during the healing process.