Root canals have a reputation for being an excruciating dental procedure. While necessary in order to treat and save your natural tooth, root canals aren’t supposed to hurt. If anything, they’re supposed to alleviate the pain your root canal was causing you. The idea that root canals are painful is mostly just a persistent myth, reminiscent of the days before there was adequate anesthesia.
However, being told that it’s a myth that root canals are painful can be frustrating if getting root canal treatment was indeed painful for you. You may read all these articles talking about how this is something that used to be the case but no longer and feel unseen and unheard because yours was painful
In truth, your root canal treatment should not be painful. The recovery process may be more painful than recovering from a cavity, but it shouldn’t be excruciating. If your root canal was painful, there are a few reasons why this may be.
What Root Canal Pain Is Normal
It’s normal for you to be in some pain after the procedure, but it should be manageable with painkillers. It should go away within a few days. After the procedure, you will likely find that you’re actually in less pain than you were before. This is because the purpose of a root canal treatment is to alleviate your pain and prevent it from worsening.
Pain during the treatment itself is not normal and can indicate a larger issue.
Potential Reasons Why Your Root Canal Treatment Was Painful
If you experienced pain during your root canal treatment, this is something that you will want to bring up to your dentist right away. You can also seek a second opinion if desired. The only way to know why you experienced pain during your root canal treatment is to talk to a dental professional.
These are some potential reasons for why you experienced pain. However, this is not meant for you to determine what happened, merely provide some plausible causes for your pain. Consult with a dental professional if you experienced any pain during a root canal treatment. If you continue to experience pain after a root canal, talk to your dentist right away, as this can indicate a serious problem.
That said, here are some potential reasons for why you experienced pain during your root canal.
You Needed More Anesthesia
Some people simply need more anesthesia than others. What’s perfect for one person may not be enough for another. While your dentist should be watching you for signs of pain and ask whether or not you feel anything, this may not always be the case. Or, perhaps they do, but you feel the need to lie about how much pain you’re in, either because you are ashamed of being in pain or you do not want to be an inconvenience.
Never be afraid to ask for more anesthesia! A good dentist doesn’t want you to be in pain during your root canal any more than you do. There’s absolutely no shame in needing more anesthesia in order to numb the area.
Your dentist will know how to use anesthesia properly in order to keep you healthy and safe. You can also ask about sedation dentistry if you have anxiety about the procedure. There are two types of dental sedation, conscious, where you are awake, and unconscious, where you are put to sleep. Most often, patients are kept awake during the procedure, but you can talk to your dentist about the best options for you.
It Was Not Done Correctly
With modern technology, techniques, and anesthesia, root canals are painless when done correctly. You’ll probably feel some pressure, the same way you do when a cavity is filled. However, there shouldn’t be any pain.
If you experienced pain during your root canal, this could be because it was not done properly. If the root canal was done incorrectly, this can result in root canal failure. This can occur as a result of dental malpractice, such as performing misdiagnosis, drilling too deep, or failing to properly clean and fill the inside of the tooth.
If your root canal was not done correctly, you’ll likely experience severe pain after the procedure or pain that does not go away after a few days. There may be swelling, and even discharge from the tooth in severe cases where an abscess has formed. Bear in mind that it is normal to experience some pain after a root canal, but it should be manageable and go away within a few days. If it does not or the pain is severe, that is when you should be concerned.
If you are concerned about root canal failure, talk with your dental professional. You can get a second opinion if you are uncomfortable going back to the dentist or endodontist who did the root canal. A professional will be able to diagnose you and provide you with treatment options.
Is Your Treated Root Canal Causing You Pain?
Seek help if your pain is severe or does not go away. David G. Johnson, DDS, is an experienced endodontist who can help you with your root canal needs. Know that pain during root canal treatment should not occur. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about root canals or other types of endodontic treatments.