Are Root Canal Treatments Painful?

Are Root Canal Treatments Painful?

Root canal therapy has had a bad rap over the years. However, phenomenal advances in dental technology, endodontic techniques, and dental anesthesia have made root canals virtually painless and much less “scary.” In fact, the procedure relieves pain rather than causing it, so our patients feel better after treatment than when they stepped into our office. 

Why Would You Need a Root Canal Treatment?

Inside each tooth is an area known as the pulp chamber that contains the tooth pulp and nerves. Deep decay, trauma, tooth fractures, and repeated dental procedures can sometimes cause soft pulp tissue infection or inflammation. When that happens, root canal therapy is the only way to save the tooth and restore its health and function. The endodontic procedure is highly predictable, with more than a 95 percent success rate. 

What Are Symptoms of Tooth Pulp Infection?

Signs you have tooth pulp damage include tooth pain, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, tooth discoloration, or gum swelling. At times, tooth infection may not produce symptoms, which is why we emphasize the importance of your routine dental visits every six months. If we uncover signs of any problems, we will address them promptly before they progress.  

What Happens if You Don’t Get a Needed Root Canal Treatment?

Infected tooth pulp will not heal on its own. If not treated, the infection can progress, leading to swelling of the face and neck, an abscessed tooth, bone loss around the tooth root, and even tooth loss. The infection can also enter the bloodstream and cause a host of health complications. 

The only viable alternative to a needed root canal treatment is to have the tooth extracted and replaced with an implant, bridge, or partial denture. That is often far more costly and time-consuming than a root canal treatment. 

How Painful Is a Root Canal Treatment?

Before starting treatment, we will numb the area with a local anesthetic and offer dental sedation, if needed, to ensure you are comfortable during treatment. Root canal therapy is comparable to getting a dental filling for most patients. You may feel some pressure or movement, but you shouldn’t feel pain. 

The root canal procedure involves making a small opening in the tooth’s crown to access the damaged pulp tissue and remove it. We will clean, shape, and sterilize the area and fill the root canals with a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha, then seal the tooth.  

After root canal therapy, the tooth will become brittle and prone to fracture, which is why we typically recommend placing a dental crown for protection. Your new restoration will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. With good oral hygiene practices, your treated tooth can last a lifetime!

Will You Feel Pain After a Root Canal Treatment?

When the local anesthetic begins to wear off, you may feel mild pain, tenderness, or sensitivity for a few days, but it’s nothing compared to the intense pain of an infected tooth. Over-the-counter pain medication should relieve any minor discomfort. In the rare event you experience increased pain, or if you have any concerns, please contact our office right away. 

Gentle Root Canal Treatments Near Me

Visit Dr. Rick’s Dental office in Scottsdale, AZ, to learn more about our virtually painless root canal treatments. Dr. Rick and his team pride themselves on providing our patients with outstanding, gentle care. Your comfort and wellbeing are always our top priorities. Call us and schedule your appointment today!