It’s not uncommon to require a root canal procedure at some point during your life. Particularly in later years when your teeth start to become less dense naturally and are more susceptible to infections and rot.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding this procedure. A root canal involves the deep cleaning of the gum canals beneath a given tooth. The dentist carves out the space of the inner root chamber to eliminate infection and any excess bacteria that may have spread beneath a tooth.
While root canals are indeed a serious dental procedure, and it is normal to feel some pain after the operation, it is normally not as drastic or terrible as you may think. The procedure does irritate surrounding nerves and gums, but modern dental health care improvements have made it much more tolerable.
There are opportunities to avoid needing a root canal in the first place. If you have a toothache of any kind, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid the infection from progressing and spreading throughout the rest of the tooth.
Root Canal Pain
Root canal pain is not as severe or debilitating as most people think. It’s common to experience moderate discomfort after a root canal procedure, but such pain can usually be helped by a variety of treatments or painkillers administered after the surgery.
Root canal pain has a reputation for being unbearable or extremely painful, but this type of discomfort is not normal. Instead, those who undergo root canal procedures can expect mild to moderate discomfort during and after the procedure without the pain becoming too bad.
Indeed, root canals as a procedure are meant to alleviate pain and prevent further discomfort from spreading throughout the rest of your teeth. A rotten tooth can fracture and decay, leading to much more discomfort than the root canal procedure itself.
If you experience pain or discomfort during or after the root canal, there may be a larger issue at work that needs the attention of your dentist. You should let your dental healthcare professional know if you feel major discomfort or pain after the root canal has been completed.
Reasons for Experiencing Pain
There are several different reasons for which you may be experiencing excessive pain. These reasons include:
- Gum tissue remains swollen or inflamed. Although a root canal removes the nerve root from the operated tooth, there are often small nerve endings in the tissue surrounding the canaled space. If your tooth still hurts after a root canal, these nerves may be disturbed by the procedure after the fact. This can usually be alleviated with painkillers or moderate reparative procedures.
- Surrounding tissue damage. During a root canal procedure, the instruments used by your dental professional may have damaged the surrounding tissue by accident, causing severe pain after a root canal treatment. This, too, can be alleviated with painkillers or future work by your dentist.
- Temporary filling is too high. Your dentist will fill in the hole of your tooth with a temporary filling, smoothing it down to match the level of the rest of the tooth surface. If this leveling is done incorrectly, and the filing is a little higher than the rest of the tooth surface, you may experience discomfort. This can usually be alleviated by proper filing down of the temporary filling.
However, it should be noted that these experiences are the exception rather than the rule. Dental practices and technology have marched on and made the typical root canal experience tolerable for most people. While it’s true that these incidences do happen, they are generally rare and should not be expected when you make your appointment.
Recovery Period – What to Expect
Of course, in previous decades and centuries, root canals were extremely painful as a result of lesser dental healthcare knowledge and less advanced medical painkillers and anesthetics.
Today, dentists have a much wider variety of tools and procedures they can use to make the root canal a much more tolerable experience.
For instance, the use of a local anesthetic can cause you to feel pressure rather than pain during the root canal cleaning itself. Also, long-term painkillers and anesthetics should cause your affected tooth and gum areas to be uncomfortable rather than painful in the following days.
The expected pain or discomfort after a root canal is so minor that over-the-counter pain medications are all that is necessary for most patients’ relief. Your dentist will prescribe you the correct medication to ensure that your recovery period is as minor as possible. You can also talk with your dentist about any medication needs or special requirements you may have due to pre-existing conditions.
When to go to the Dentist
After your initial root canal procedure, there will likely be a few extra visits that you need to attend to complete treatment. Root canal pain should decrease over time, but if you experience more major discomfort or complications after your root canal treatment, you should schedule another appointment to discuss this with your dentist.
In truth, many people require one or two sessions for a root canal to be successful in eliminating the infection of your tooth’s root. If, after either of these sessions, you still experience major pain, your dentist may recommend higher strength painkillers to make your recovery time manageable.
Finally, you will have to attend one final meeting with your dentist so they can put a crown on top of your affected tooth. This crown will cover up the space occupied by the temporary filling and prevent further damage or bacteria from entering the space. The new crown may cause some minor discomfort but should not be major.
If you need a root canal dentist, look no further than A-Dental Center. We’re the best North Hollywood Dentist center in the area and can provide professional and skillful care for root canals and other dental procedures. We can also assist with dental financing and insurance so that you can get the care you need no matter your budget.
Contact us today to schedule your first appointment. Remember that treating your root canal sooner rather than later is important. Call now!