Root canals are a scary concept and have quite a reputation. We often hear people say “I’d rather get a root canal than….” or “That was more painful than a root canal,” but there’s really nothing to fear about root canals. They are sometimes necessary and are often misunderstood. Our specialist for endodontics in Nashville, TN, explains why!
Root Canals Don’t Cause Pain, Says Our Specialist for Endodontics in Nashville, TN
A root canal itself does not cause pain. An infected tooth is the reason for the pain that a root canal can resolve. Dental pulp is in the center of a tooth and is made up of living connective tissue and cells called odontoblasts. When the pulp is damaged, it allows bacteria to multiply and that can cause an abscessed tooth and/or swelling of the face, head or neck. All of that adds up to pain, and that’s where we come in!
What Is A Root Canal?
The procedure involves removing the pulp, cleaning out the inside of the damaged tooth, and then sealing it. The tooth is usually then restored with a crown or a filling. Like many medical procedures, root canals have advanced over the past few decades and have become less painful. Anesthesia makes it much easier to undergo many medical procedures, including root canals. You may feel a slight prick on your gum as our specialist for endodontics in Nashville, TN, injects a numbing agent, and you’re on the way to a pain-free procedure! A rubber dental dam will keep your tooth clean and dry during the entire procedure.
Once the anesthesia and dental dam are utilized, a small hole will be drilled through your tooth to access the infected pulp at the tooth’s core. Don’t worry, though – you won’t feel this when the anesthesia has kicked in! A small suction tool will then capture and remove the diseased pulp. After the infected pulp is removed, it’s replaced with a material called gutta-percha to strengthen the tooth and prevent bacteria from coming back in. A more permanent solution, such as a filling or crown, will often replace the gutta-percha later.
A root canal does take longer than a normal tooth-cleaning, but loading an e-book onto your phone or playing your favorite music through headphones can help shorten the time. And when the procedure is done, so are you. There might be some pain after a root canal when the anesthetic wears off, but it’s generally minor enough that over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can take care of it. Plus, root canals can be finished entirely in one session if the damage is minor, although patients usually need to return for a crown or filling on the newly repaired tooth.
Think You Might Need a Root Canal? Call Our Specialist for Endodontics in Nashville, TN
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to endodontics, feel free to contact Sheats Endodontic Group, with a convenient dental office location in Nashville, TN, by clicking here or by calling 615.933.9999.