Is Root Canal treatment painful?

Anaesthetic was invented to numb pain during routine dental procedures, before we were even born. But the misleading association between pain and dental treatment still remains.

If your dental practitioner tells you that you need a root canal, they are trying to save the tooth in question. Root canal therapy (also called endodontic treatment) actually helps to alleviate your pain and discomfort, by repairing teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, gum disease, abscesses or infections.

If you are worried about your root canal treatment, learning more about the procedure should help to put your mind at ease. Here are four reasons why root canals are so important:

1. Root canal therapy relieves pain

If tooth decay or an oral infection reaches the middle of your tooth (the pulp) where the nerves are located, it's usually a very unpleasant experience. You might feel a persistent toothache, discomfort when chewing, heightened sensitivity to temperature, or soreness in the gum surrounding the tooth.

The root canal procedure is performed using local anaesthetic, which numbs pain in the part of your mouth being treated. This means the treatment is usually pain-free, but every situation is unique and your own experience will depend on the specifics of your procedure.

If you're having several root canal treatments performed on different visits, you can control pain in-between your appointments using over-the-counter pain relief.

2. Root canal therapy saves your teeth

When your tooth has been badly damaged by decay, disease or infection, a root canal procedure is often the last opportunity to repair it, rather than lose it through a tooth extraction.

During your root canal procedure, your dental practitioner will remove the infected pulp, clean and disinfect the area, then fill and seal the tooth. A dental crown is usually placed to restore the tooth's natural shape and function.

After your tooth has been repaired, it should last as long as the rest of your teeth, as long as you take good care of your oral hygiene.

3. Root canal therapy fights infections

Even if you don't feel any pain, a damaged tooth still puts you at risk of infection. Root canal treatments are performed on teeth that have 'died,' as they leave the gums and nerves vulnerable to disease and bacteria.

When the infected pulp is removed from your tooth, the tooth is disinfected using an antibiotic paste before being filled with a synthetic material that prevents infections from spreading.

If your tooth is infected, it's important to act sooner rather than later, as a tooth that's too badly infected or has a large abscess will probably need to be extracted.

4. Root canal therapy protects your oral health

Root canals aren't just a quick fix for toothache. Your restored tooth, protected by a crown, can continue to protect your oral health against infections for life – as long as you maintain a good oral hygiene routine and keep up with your regular dental appointments.

Find out more about root canal therapy at Ocean Reef Dental Surgery and make an appointment with our friendly team.