Hearing that you need a root canal can put you on edge, especially if you don’t know much about them. Typically, patients think that a root canal is the worst procedure you can encounter at the dentist. You may feel like this if you have ever seen a TV show or movie that shows someone getting a root canal at the dentist. They may show a character digging their nails into the chair or even screaming.
However, this is not what an actual root canal looks or feels like. In fact, a root canal is no more painful than a large dental filling. Thanks to sedation, you will likely feel no pain at all. The more you know about a root canal treatment, the better you will feel about the procedure.
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is similar to a dental filling in that a dentist will remove the infected portion of your tooth and refill it. With a root canal, your dentist needs to remove the infected pulp before it does more damage to your tooth. In fact, a root canal is sometimes the last option to save your tooth before an extraction. If you need a root canal, you likely have a significant infection that needs treatment. Most infections can cause serious pain, so a root canal can help relieve pain rather than cause it.
Much like a dental filling, your dentist will drill into the top of your tooth to remove the infected pulp. Then, they will thoroughly clean and disinfect the area. This is to ensure that all the bacteria are gone, preventing further infection. Next, your dentist will fill the tooth to provide support and cap it with a temporary filling or crown. Later, you will return for a permanent crown.
Do I Need A Root Canal?
If you have a significant infection, you will need root canal therapy. Without a root canal, your dentist may need to remove your tooth completely. Additionally, swollen or painful gums can be an indicator that you have an infection. An abscess or pimple on the gums can also show that you are in need of a root canal. Typically, you will experience severe pain and sensitivity to pressure or temperature changes.
Do I Have Other Options?
Depending on the severity of your infection, you may not have many options. Your dentist may try to treat your infection with antibiotics first to see if it subsides. However, antibiotics are not always effective. Alternatively, you can opt out of a root canal, but you may not enjoy the other options. Without a root canal, your dentist may need to remove your tooth with a tooth extraction.
Does A Root Canal Hurt?
A root canal is no more painful than many other dental procedures. Before the procedure, your dentist will completely numb the area with a local anesthetic. Additionally, they can provide you with sedation to relax you and make the process easier for everyone involved. You may be sore while you recover from the root canal, but this will be temporary.