The Truth About Dental Implants

« Back to Home

Why You Should Not Fear Root Canal Pain

Posted on

Around 70% of people in the Unites States have a fear of losing one of their teeth. Strangely enough, around the same amount of people also have a fear of receiving a root canal. Since root canals are used to save the teeth from eventual extraction, you would think this fact would help to stave off scared feelings. Well, if you are one of those fearful adults, then you should know that there are some real reasons why you should not fear the treatment. Find out why by browsing the information outlined here that describes why the treatment will most likely not be painful.

Treatments Are Provided Beforehand

There are some cases where dentists will need to perform a root canal as part of an emergency treatment. Individuals who feel severe levels of pain, experience swelling of the face, and people who have advanced abscesses may need a root canal immediately. Immediate treatment is also provided if there is a risk of an abscess spreading to other parts of the body. People who leave tooth infections to fester for long periods of time, and patients who show signs of deep and oozing abscesses are typically at risk of serious infections. In these cases, the pus and the accompanying bacteria from the formation can travel to the heart or brain if allowed to move through the capillaries.

When treatment is provided in one of these cases, then local anesthetics may not work properly to numb the tooth and the surrounding tissues. This happens, because the medication is dependent on the normal pH levels of the tissues around the tooth. When an abscess or infection is present, then the tissue pH drops and the acidic environment keeps the anesthetic from working properly. Also, infections cause the anesthetic to absorb more slowly into the nerve tissues around the tooth. 

Antibiotic Use

In cases where a dental infection is not severe or serious, which is most often the case, then antibiotics can be provided before a root canal to reduce numbing concerns. Usually, penicillin is provided. After two days, the symptoms associated with the abscess that include pain and swelling will start to subside, and after five days the infection in the gum tissues will likely be mostly healed. Your dentist can then perform the root canal. Typically, the root canal appointment is made at the same time that antibiotics are provided so a new abscess does not have the opportunity to begin before the procedure is performed. 

The Tooth May Be Dead

There are some cases where bacteria will silently kill a tooth with few or no symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms are noticed, but they subside quickly. Usually, a tooth will die when a cavity forms deep in the tooth and allows bacteria to access the inner parts where the dental pulp resides. The bacteria kill the pulp and work down into the small roots and attack the nerve. If this happens quickly enough, then your toothache may come and go within a matter of days or weeks once the tooth nerve is destroyed and the tooth dies. This same sort of thing can happen if your tooth becomes injured and the force breaks the blood vessels free from the tooth.

Most people will likely not seek dental care once a toothache stops. However, your dentist will see that the tooth is dead when a routine x-ray is performed. This may also be noted if the tooth cracks, because dead teeth tend to be brittle. A root canal is completed once the dead tooth is found to remove dead tissues, to strengthen its core, and to prepare it for a dental crown. However, the nerve is responsible for all sensations coming from the tooth. The nerve will be dead, and thus no pain will come from the tooth when the treatment is provided.

Sensations You Will Feel

Even though you may not feel pain during the root canal itself, you are likely to feel some sensations. You will note a small pinch or prick when the lidocaine is used to numb your gums. The anesthetic is used even when a tooth is dead to keep vibration discomfort and gum pain to a minimum. Along with the prick, you may feel pressure as drills and files are used. The sensations will come from the periodontal tissues that attach the tooth to the jawbone. 

Talk to a dentist, like one at Schererville Family Dentistry, PC, for more information.