Does the Idea of Root Canal Make You Sweat?
Root canal has always had a pretty bad rap, with an unfortunate amount of jokes made about the pain and discomfort that people associate with this treatment. To be fair, removing the nerve and pulp from the inside of a decaying tooth can induce a serious case of the sweats. It’s no wonder that people avoid it if they can.
The best alternative to root canal treatment is to take care of your teeth; healthy diet, brush regularly, floss daily, and see your hygienist for frequent deep cleaning appointments. The other alternative may find you looking at the more costly option of an extraction and implant.
However, it may happen that you are faced with root canal treatment – what do you need to know?
What happens during a root canal treatment?
The purpose of a root canal treatment is to save as much of an infected tooth as possible. When a tooth is compromised, the inside pulp and nerve can become infected which can – and does – lead to all manner of painful consequences. In these closed, wet environment bacteria can multiply at an alarming rate and the subsequent infection can quickly result in an abscess which may spread throughout the face, neck or head.
Treatment in this case requires the removal of the infected parts of the tooth, followed by cleaning and sealing.
Before starting treatment, an x-ray is usually required to understand the extent of the problem. Has the infection spread to other teeth, or into the bone? Can the tooth be saved by root canal?
Once the Dentist has a clear way forward, you will be anesthetised to avoid any discomfort. Your dentist will then begin to drill out the infected pulp, removing the bacteria and debris during the process. Root canal files are used for this procedure which increase in diameter to clean and scrape the inside of the tooth.
After thoroughly cleaning and flushing the tooth, your dentist will either make use of a temporary filling while the required medication deals with an infection or will seal it straight away.
This hole needs to be carefully filled to avoid any further infections or damage, so a sealer paste and a special dental rubber compound is placed inside the tooth. A filling, crown or other type of restoration may be required for a strong and natural finish.
Generally, a follow up appointment is required to make sure that the procedure was totally successful and there is no discomfort or any other issues.
Some root canal cases can be highly complex, and we would then refer to an Endodontist for their input. An Endodontist is a specialist in tooth pain diagnosis and root canal treatment.
The American Association of Endodontists says of this specialist field, “By limiting their practice to endodontics, endodontists focus exclusively on treatments of the dental pulp. They complete an average of 25 root canal treatments a week, while general dentists typically do two. Endodontists don’t place fillings or clean teeth — they dedicate their time to diagnosing and treating tooth pain. They are skilled specialists in finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnosis.”
Is a root canal painful?
Is there any basis for the painful reputation of root canal treatments?
We feel that the pain of a decaying tooth or a growing abscess is worse than the treatment, what with the heat and cold sensitivity, shooting pains and aching swollen gums.
However, we also understand that any dental treatment can be unpleasant if you are nervous, have sensitive teeth, or the treatment is not performed correctly or with sufficient care.
Therefore, we make certain that our patients understand the process and know exactly what is going to happen, step by step. We are also careful to ensure that anaesthetics are administered with absolute care and that our team are keenly focused on your comfort and a quick solution to your problem.
As with any trauma to the body, the tooth and surrounding area will no doubt be sensitive and swollen for a few days after your treatment. This is a natural part of the healing process. Simply taking care of the affected tooth with careful cleaning and perhaps, minimising chewing on it for a little while, will allow your body to heal.
Root canal treatments are a successful way to treat infections while saving as much as possible of the tooth. However, there can be complications if the problem is left untreated for too long, so if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, please pay a visit to your Dentist sooner rather than later.
Do you have questions?
If so, give us a call and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have on the topic of root canal treatments.