Do Root Canals Hurt?
Almost every day I see patients with toothaches who need a root canal to treat the tooth and relieve the pain. Usually the first reaction from the patient is fear – most likely from stories they have heard of root canals being a painful procedure. In reality, patients are numb throughout the whole procedure, similar to a filling. Many times patients fall asleep during a root canal because they are finally relaxed from the pain they were experiencing. The “pain” of a root canal is actually the pain from why you need a root canal, NOT the procedure itself! After a root canal there might be some soreness from the tooth healing but is usually much more tolerable than the discomfort before the procedure.
When is a Root Canal Needed?
A root canal may be needed for many reasons, but they are most commonly due to a large cavity or infection that has formed. The nerve of the tooth either dies or becomes inflamed and needs to be cleaned out. We start the procedure by making a small hole on the tooth to access the inflamed or infected nerve. We then clean out the area with our instruments, administer medicine, and seal the tooth with a filler material. A root canal is similar to having a filling, but in the root of the tooth. Most of the time a filling and crown is needed after a root canal to give the tooth strength and prevent it from cracking. Don’t postpone getting the crown just because the tooth feels better! Sometimes I see patients neglect to get a crown and the tooth cracks to the point that it needs to be pulled.
A root canal is not a procedure to be fearful of. It is a very common procedure that we do every day at Virginia Family Dentistry. With our highly trained dentists and latest equipment, we can get you feeling better from that awful toothache.
By Dr. Zain Hyder
General Dentist at VFD Huguenot