How Painful is a Root Canal?

The term "root canal" invokes thoughts of scary dental tools and feelings of terror. This is because, for a long time, root canals were notoriously painful procedures. The technology and techniques used in root canals have improved drastically, but the negative connotation of root canals persists. What is the truth about root canals?

Are Root Canals Painful?

Not at all. Root canals are typically painless because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and the surrounding area before treatment. You may have some mild discomfort in the days following the root canal. But this is a natural part of the healing and recovery process.

Don’t Avoid Root Canals Out of Fear of Pain

A root canal is an important procedure that can help save a decaying tooth and protect your health. Don’t avoid a root canal if you're concerned about how painful the procedure could be. In reality, you'll feel next to nothing during root canal, and it's vital for the health of your mouth.

If you need a root canal, you are likely already experiencing pain. A root canal can alleviate your pain and help improve your quality of life. Now that you know a root canal is not painful, the next question is, what happens during a root canal procedure?

How Are Root Canals Performed?

A root canal is a procedure where your dentist cleans the internal cavity of your tooth because bacteria have infected it. Root canals save teeth and prevent the need for tooth extraction. In fact, according to a report published by Colgate, root canals save 24 million teeth every single year.

Diagnosing the Root Canal

At UNO DENTAL in San Francisco, our dentists will start by diagnosing the root canal. We will take an x-ray and look for signs of a dental infection. When it is apparent that the infection has spread past your tooth enamel, we will recommend a root canal to restore healthy tooth function and protect your smile long-term.

The Root Canal Procedure

After we evaluate the tooth, an endodontist will drill from the top of the tooth to access the inner pulp. This is where the bacteria and nerves of the infected tooth are located. This material is going to be removed along with any additional debris.

Cleaning the tooth is an essential part of treatment. It must be done properly to ensure that no further treatments are needed. An endodontist will use special tools to scrape the root canal. This is done under local anesthetic. You might feel a pressure sensation during the process, but no pain.

When to See a Dentist

You should expect to experience some pain in the days following the root canal procedure. Over-the-counter painkillers should be sufficient to deal with the pain until it subsides. However, if you are experiencing pain for more than two weeks following the procedure, you should call us. Our dental professionals can reevaluate the condition of the tooth.

Schedule a Consultation

UNO DENTAL has been offering quality dental care in San Francisco for years. We want you to enjoy your experience and feel confident knowing that a caring, knowledgeable team will treat whatever condition you may have. Schedule a consultation today by calling our office or filling out our online form.

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