Myths Debunked: The Truth About Root Canal Treatment and Pain
What is root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is a dental procedure that can alleviate your discomfort and it is not as scary as you would expect!
Root canal therapy is also known as endodontic treatment, and it involves removing the nerve and root canal tissue, along with any decay, to relieve pain and eliminate infection. So very much in line with what you have grown to expect from getting a filling.
You might believe that root canals are excruciatingly painful.
With modern dental technology and powerful anaesthetics, getting a root canal is no more painful than getting a filling placed. So don’t let old wives’ tales and outdated beliefs scare you away from saving your natural tooth through this effective and painless procedure.
The goal of having a root canal is to save the natural tooth and avoid extraction. Inside the tooth, beneath the enamel and dentin, is the pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that nourish the tooth during development.
A fully grown tooth can survive without the pulp, and a modern root canal treatment can be completed in one or two appointments. Getting a root canal is actually relatively painless and highly effective, allowing you to get back to your normal activities in no time.
When will you need a root canal?
Whether your tooth decay has reached the pulp or you’ve suffered a traumatic injury, a root canal can save your tooth and spare you the agony of a throbbing toothache.
And let’s not forget about the risk of infection – left untreated, a tooth infection can spread throughout the body and cause serious illness.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons you may need a root canal.
- Tooth decay that has spread deep into the pulp may require a root canal, or a very deep filling that irritates the nerve. A “dead” tooth that no longer receives blood flow due to trauma, such as injury from playing sports, may need a root canal.
- An infected tooth left untreated can lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream and causing serious illness or death, making it crucial to see a dentist for any tooth pain.
Will a root canal hurt?
Think getting a root canal is going to be the most painful experience of your life? Think again! It’s just like getting a routine filling, but with a bit more drilling and a little less small talk. The only reason people think root canals are so bad is because they’re already dealing with a toothache from the decay that led to the root canal in the first place.
If you need a root canal, your regular dentist will either take care of it or refer you to an endodontist – aka a dentist who’s even more specialised in this particular area of care. They’ll make sure you’re good and numb with anaesthetic before they start procedures. And sure, your mouth might feel a little sore or uncomfortable for a few days after the procedure, but it’s nothing compared to the excruciating pain you were in before. So go ahead, schedule that root canal appointment with confidence!
Root Canal Steps
- Numbing the area and placing a dental dam to isolate the tooth.
- Removing decay, infected pulp, and cleaning the root canals with small files.
- Filling the tooth with gutta-percha and placing a temporary filling.
- Returning for a permanent crown fitting and ensuring the tooth is healed.
- Sensitivity and soreness may occur for a few days after the procedure.
Will I be able to go back to work after a root canal?
After your root canal avoid eating until the numbness wears off. You should be fine to return to work, however depending on how you feel about going to the dentist the process might have you feeling a little tired but physically it would be fine to work after a root canal.
What do you need to do after a root canal?
After a root canal, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits or begin to incorporate more intentional dental care into your daily routine like brushing twice a day and flossing regularly.
You should see your dental hygienist every six months to maintain good dental hygiene.
The reality is you don’t suffer through the pain any longer! Root canal treatment is a safe, effective, and painless solution to alleviate your toothache and avoid more serious health issues. It’s time to debunk the myths and take action to save your natural tooth. If you’re experiencing tooth decay or trauma, see your dentist today and ask about the benefits of root canal therapy. With modern dental technology and powerful anaesthetics, there’s no need to fear this routine procedure. So let’s prioritise our dental health and say goodbye to tooth pain for good!