Root Canal and Pain
If bacteria invade the pulp of a tooth, root canal treatment can eliminate the infection and restore oral health. Many of our Edmonton, AB, patients are concerned that root canal treatment is painful or uncomfortable. On the contrary, this procedure actually reduces the pain associated with an infected tooth. Here, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky explores the topic of root canal and pain and offers recommendations for reducing post-treatment discomfort.
Root Canal Treatment: A Brief Overview
Before we discuss ways to reduce post-treatment discomfort, we will take a quick look at the root canal treatment itself. During this procedure, Dr. Podilsky creates a small hole in the affected tooth to access the internal structures.
After removing the infected tissues and nerves, the inside of the tooth is cleaned, sanitized, and filled with a material called gutta percha. The tooth is then sealed with composite resin and, in many cases, reinforced with a dental crown. Root canal treatment is the only way to save an infected tooth from extraction.
Why Is Pain Associated with Root Canal Treatment?
At some point in decades past, root canal therapy developed a bad rap. For this reason, many patients fear that the procedure itself is painful. But with advanced techniques and anesthetics, the procedure does not cause any more discomfort than a simple dental filling.
Keep in mind that the nerve of the tooth is actually removed during root canal therapy. As a result, the tooth will not feel anything, including pain.
What Should I Expect after Root Canal Therapy?
Like any other dental procedure, slight discomfort can be expected. Here are a few reasons why this might be the case:
- The gum tissue around the treated tooth remains inflamed. It is normal for the gum tissue around the tooth may be slightly sensitive following the procedure. Small nerves in the tissues surrounding the tooth may register some level of discomfort. Dr. Podilsky will provide pain medication to alleviate any tenderness.
- The tissue was irritated by a dental instrument. During root canal therapy, small endodontic files are used to clean out the canals. Sometimes these tiny instruments can damage the surrounding tissue. This is temporary and should resolve in a few days.
- The filling inside the tooth is too high. Composite resin is placed to seal the tooth and protect it from further infection. If this filling is not smoothed down enough, it can cause the bite to be too high in that area. Excessive pressure can lead to discomfort. This issue can be addressed by adjusting the filling for a more comfortable bite.
How to Reduce Discomfort after Root Canal Therapy
Patients who undergo root canal therapy at our Edmonton practice can follow a few guidelines to reduce discomfort and speed up recovery. Here are a few recommendations:
- Keep the treatment area clean to reduce bacteria.
- Take all medications as prescribed by Dr. Podilsky.
- Chew on the other side of your mouth for a couple of weeks, if possible.
- Avoid hard, crunchy foods.
- Attend all follow-up appointments.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you have an infected tooth, root canal treatment can save your smile and preserve your oral health. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment at our Edmonton practice, contact us online or call us at (780) 900-6434.