Whether or not the book ‘I’d Rather Have a Root Canal Than Do Cold Calling’ had anything to do with the stigma surrounding the treatment is uncertain, but it stands to reason that many people are wary of the procedure. The idea of dental treatment is never fun, and the term ‘root canal’ has a way of striking fear into even the bravest of souls. In regard to the treatment, the most common questions we get asked here at SD Dental are ‘What is a root canal’ and ‘Is root canal treatment painful?’ We thought we’d answer some of the most common dental treatment questions centred on ‘root canal is it painful’ to put your mind at ease.
Is root canal treatment painful & other FAQ’s
What is a root canal?
A root canal treatment is designed to get rid of bacteria that has cultivated in the root of a tooth. Inside your teeth, there is a layer of soft tissue that blood vessels and nerves that extends into the root of the tooth. This also known as ‘dental pulp.’ A root canal involves drilling into the tooth to remove the infection and replacing the inner structure with a supporting post if necessary.
A typical root canal treatment will consist of the following procedures:
- A dental technician will numb the gum surrounding the tooth that needs treatment with a numbing agent. You may feel a bit of a pinch as the needle breaks the surface of the gums, but it will only be momentary. Your dental technician will segment the tooth using a dental dam, to stop it from getting wet while they perform the extraction.
- Your dental technician will then use a drill to make a small hole in the tooth. Using files, a dentist will then extract the damaged pulp from your tooth and cleanse it with an anti bacteria solution to flush out any remaining infected tissue.
- To prevent infection from occurring again, your dentist will then re-fill the empty canal with a sealer paste. Your dentist may put in a temporary seal and put you on a course of antibiotics first or put in a permanent seal straight away.
- To prevent infection from occurring again, your dentist will then place a permanent cap on the top of your tooth (such as a crown).
How do I know if I need root canal treatment?
If you’re experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, it’s recommended you get X rays done by your dentist to confirm if you need a root canal treatment:
- A hole, crack or chip in your tooth
- Swelling of the gum around one tooth
- Swelling around the neck or mouth
- Significant tooth or gum pain
- Pain on one area of the mouth when exposed to hot and cold drinks
- Gum lesions that look like pimples
Is root canal treatment painful?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how painful is root canal treatment?
If you’re wondering ‘is root canal treatment painful?’ you can rest assured that many patients report that root canal treatment isn’t painful at all. Aside from the initial prick of the needle, you won’t feel any pain as the entire area is numbed. In fact, a root canal is designed to eliminate pain as an infected tooth can cause a lot of irritation and pain is left unchecked. The only thing you’ll feel is some slight discomfort from leaving your mouth open for a while, and slight pressure from the drill. When it comes to ‘root canal is it painful’ many patients report that it’s no more intrusive than having a filling, though you may feel some tenderness after the procedure. If you find yourself feeling nervous, be sure to have a chat with your dentist about it beforehand as they might be able to offer some happy gas to calm your nerves.
Why can’t I just remove the tooth?
Though removing a tooth may seem like a much simpler alternative to root canal treatment, it can cause a lot of problems to the structure of your mouth. A missing tooth can cause the rest of your teeth to shift, which can contribute to further tooth decay and tooth, or cause your jawbone and gums to shrink in time. Removing a tooth will often be a last resort method, as a good dentist will prefer to save your existing teeth.
We hope we’ve answered your question ‘how painful is root canal treatment?’ and give you some peace of mind. If you suspect you might need root canal treatment, please feel free to contact SD Dental for an assessment. You can reach out to us online or call us on (07) 3821 0277 to make an appointment.