WHY DO ROOT CANALS HURT SO MUCH?
A Root Canal Treats Pain Root canals are performed to save teeth. In the United States, they save an estimated 24 million teeth every year. The tooth is covered by hard material but it contains living tissue at its centre called the pulp. The pulp contains numerous nerve endings and blood vessels.
When you get a cavity, it eats into the hard outer enamel of the tooth and reaches the pulp or nerve tissue. The nerve tissue starts to die and rot away. This is when you feel pain to hot, cold, or even a throbbing pain at night. Eventually an abscess forms.
The infected tissue must be removed and this is called a root canal treatment. You will likely be able keep your natural tooth for the rest of your life after this. Damaged pulp is removed, the canals are disinfected and replaced with a filler. Most of the time a crown is placed over the tooth to protect it while chewing. You will be able to resume your everyday oral habits, such as chewing, smiling, brushing and flossing.
The pain during a root canal treatment depends upon the following factors:
- Was an adequate amount of local anaesthetic (LA) administered.
- Was the technique of giving LA properly done to block the nerve carrying the pain sensations.
Thus almost all patients do not feel pain during the procedure. We always ensure you are adequately numb and will add as much anesthetic as you need to get you numb. When patients tell me they are scared because of the pain from root canals, I have to tell you it’s because of the above two points. Many dentists want to just get going with the procedure and the patient may not be numb enough.
For a few days after the treatment, you may have some pain and sensitivity. We normally recommend over-the- counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, even if you have no pain as this helps with the inflammation. Dr. Bui, our root canal specialist, will ensure you are taken care of in the best way possible.
Learn more about one-visit root canal therapy performed by endodontist, Dr. Bui.