Root canals are often associated with immense pain, so it’s no wonder that if you’re told you need a root canal, you’ll end up stressing about how painful it is and want to learn how best to manage the pain. You’ll be relieved to learn that the idea that root canals are painful is a dated one, and something that is no longer true. As a matter of fact, root canals are done in order to relieve your pain, not to inflict more pain upon you. Here’s what you need to know about the persistent myth that root canals are painful and why it’s just that: a myth.
Why People Think Root Canals Are Painful
Root canals used to be painful, this is true. However, with the development of modern medicine and anesthesia, getting a root canal is now no more painful than getting a filling done. There is a difference in the recovery period, as your teeth will be more sensitive for a longer period of time after getting a root canal, as opposed to after getting a filling. However, this sensitivity typically goes away if the procedure was done correctly and was successful.
Unfortunately, even though it’s no longer true that root canals are this extremely painful and stressful procedure, that remains the common perception of them. This is because people believe that root canals involve tooth extraction, that anesthesia doesn’t help or that the endodontist doesn’t use anesthesia at all, and more. This ignorance is widespread, and there isn’t much media to combat it, at the moment. Thus, most people simply don’t know any better until either they need one done or someone they know gets one.
It’s unfortunate that this dental treatment has such a negative reputation when its purpose is to save your natural tooth and to alleviate the pain that’s causing you to need this treatment done in the first place.
The Truth About Root Canals And Pain
If you need a root canal, chances are, you’re in pain, although you can need a root canal without experiencing any pain at all. This could be another reason why people believe that root canals are painful – because if you need one, you’re in pain. However, the purpose of a root canal is to treat the issue that is causing you pain. As such, rather than causing pain, people who get root canals usually find that the treatment alleviates their pain, because it treats the underlying cause of it.
Pain During A Root Canal
As previously mentioned, modern medicine has come a long way. This means that your endodontist will likely use anesthesia in order to numb the area, so that you won’t feel any pain. You’ll likely experience some pressure, the same as you would when getting a cavity filled. However, there’s no need to worry about the procedure itself being painful.
Everyone is different when it comes to pain. This means that you may need some more anesthesia in order for the area to be totally numbed. You can always ask your endodontist for more anesthesia. They care a lot about taking care of you, and they don’t want you to be in pain anymore than you do. If you need some more anesthesia than what is initially given in order to numb the area, don’t hesitate to ask for a bit more.
If you experience pain during a root canal, know that this is not normal and that you do not have to grin and bear it. There is no shame in asking for some more anesthesia, if need be. Your endodontist is trained in how to do all sorts of procedures, and they will know how to use anesthesia properly in order to keep you healthy.
Pain After A Root Canal
As previously mentioned, it’s expected that the recovery period after getting a root canal will involve some more sensitivity than other procedures, such as a filling. Your endodontist will advise you on care after your root canal. In general, you’ll likely experience some more soreness and sensitivity following a root canal than you would with a filling. You can keep the pain following a root canal to a minimum by taking medications, avoiding hard and crunchy foods until the pain subsides, and more.
The pain following a root canal should only last a few days following the procedure. If it persists, this is something that you’ll want to contact your endodontist about.
David G. Johnson, D.D.S. is here to help with any concerns you may have about root canals. If you need a root canal, rest assured that we will take care of you, and that the pain should be kept to a minimum. Contact us today to learn more.