How painful are root canals? That's the first question we're asked when a patient finds out that the toothache they came in for is part of a bigger problem that can only be corrected with a root canal. Patients ask about pain even before asking about cost. It's not a surprise to us. Over the years, root canals have gotten a reputation for being right up there with medieval torture, but fortunately, that's not really the case.
As a root canal dentist in Staten Island, we want our clients to know that they'll receive the best care possible and answers to all of their questions surrounding any procedure, and that's what we're doing today. So let's talk about root canals and how much pain you can expect when you have the procedure done.
Over the years, root canals have gotten a bad reputation. Scratch that, they've gotten a horrifically bad reputation. It's no surprise. There was a time when root canals caused a lot of pain. Years ago, the procedure used far less advanced techniques that led to quite a bit of post-operative pain and even intra-operative pain in some cases. However, with the advancement of technology, today's tools and procedures make root canals no more painful than having a cavity filled.
Root canals are what are known as endodontic procedures. Endodontics refers to the interior of the tooth. This is the pulpy center of the tooth that houses the nerve and blood vessels. During the procedure, the tooth is opened up and the pulp in the body and roots of the tooth are removed. The remaining chamber is then cleaned, shaped, disinfected, and filled with a material that seals the tooth's interior to prevent infection. From there the tooth will be restored via a filling or crown.
Contrary to the prevailing myth surrounding root canals, the entire procedure is usually quick, comfortable, and painless. It's also far less invasive than replacing the tooth.
Because the pain associated with an infected tooth stems from the pulp which is removed, patients often experience immediate relief rather than pain upon leaving the office. This is especially true if they've been suffering from pain and infection for several weeks.
As the anesthesia wears off in the hours following the root canal, patients can sometimes feel some sensitivity and tenderness. This is usually the case when the tooth was infected and painful for a prolonged period of time. This sensitivity is typically mild and can be managed with OTC medications like NSAIDs. It also usually resolves within a few days. During this period of 3 to 5 days, we recommend eating soft foods to avoid any strain on the tooth and excess pressure on the already tender area.
Dr. Cipriano and the team here at Healthy Smiles are here to help determine if you need a root canal and explain the entire procedure to you from start to finish. As a root canal dentist, we're happy to walk you through each and every part of the process and deliver the best result possible. Schedule a consultation with us today, and let's get that tooth pain resolved.