Do Root Canals Hurt: Everything You Need to Know
The mere mention of a root canal often creates anxiety. The reputation of this dental procedure as a painful experience has persisted over the years. We’ll address the common questions and concerns surrounding root canals, covering what they are, when they are needed, the procedure itself, and the all-important question: do root canals hurt?
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure aimed at treating infection or damage to the pulp—the soft tissue inside the tooth. This tissue contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed due to deep decay, a cracked tooth, or repeated dental procedures, a root canal is often the recommended course of action to save the tooth.
When Do You Need A Root Canal?
Several signs may indicate the need for a root canal:
- Persistent Toothache: Pain that lingers, especially when biting or applying pressure to the tooth.
- Sensitivity to Hot or Cold: Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that persists after the temperature stimulus is removed.
- Swollen Gums: Swelling or tenderness in the gums around the affected tooth.
- Darkening of the Tooth: Discoloration or darkening of the tooth, often a sign of damage or infection.
- Pimple on the Gums: The presence of a pimple-like bump (dental abscess) on the gums near the affected tooth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult with 360 Dental promptly to figure out whether you are in need of a root canal.
What Happens When You Get a Root Canal?
Contrary to common perception, a root canal is a relatively straightforward and routine dental procedure. Here’s what typically happens:
1. Diagnosis and X-Rays
Your dentist will perform a thorough examination, possibly including X-rays, to assess the extent of the damage and determine if a root canal is necessary.
2. Local Anesthesia
Before the procedure begins, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area. This ensures you won’t feel pain during the root canal.
3. Removal of Infected Pulp
The dentist will create a small access hole in the tooth and remove the infected or damaged pulp using specialized instruments. The tooth’s root canals are then cleaned and shaped to prepare for the filling.
4. Filling the Canals
The cleaned and shaped root canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha to seal the space and prevent further infection.
After the root canal, the access hole is filled, and a crown or filling is placed over the tooth to restore its function and appearance.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
This is a common question, as no one likes to experience pain. The reality is that modern dentistry, advancements in technology, and the use of effective local anesthesia have significantly improved the root canal experience.
Local anesthesia ensures that the procedure itself is virtually painless. You may feel some pressure and movement, but any discomfort is generally minimal. Dentists are trained to administer anesthesia with precision, ensuring that you are numb and comfortable throughout the procedure.
After the root canal, you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity for a few days. If so, over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage this, and your dentist may prescribe medication if necessary. It’s important to follow any post-procedure care instructions provided by your dentist to make sure you have no complications.
Root Canal Dentist in Los Angeles
The fear associated with root canals is often rooted in outdated perceptions. Modern dentistry, coupled with advancements in techniques and anesthesia, has transformed the experience into a routine and relatively painless procedure. If you’re experiencing symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal, consult with 360 Dental right away. Addressing the issue early can save your tooth and alleviate any associated pain or discomfort. Remember, the goal of a root canal is to restore your oral health and preserve your natural smile.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area and in need of a root canal procedure, contact 360 Dental for a positive, comfortable, and painless experience.