Root canal treatment has a bad reputation of being extremely painful, but actually that’s not really true. Modern advancements in the procedure allow patients to have this valuable treatment without all of the pain and anxiety associated with it in the past.
When you need root canal treatment, the dentist or endodontist in our Woolwich, NJ dental office (a specialist in this type of dental work) removes infected or damaged tissue in the tooth’s pulp. Many patients are experiencing significant pain before the procedure is even performed, so the treatment can serve to actually relieve pain. Since anesthetics are using during the procedure, most patients compare it to getting a regular tooth filling.
Here are some circumstances that might involve discomfort during root canal treatment, and suggestions on how to manage the pain:
- If you feel discomfort during the procedure, alert the dentist so that your anesthesia may be adjusted. Often additional local anesthesia takes care of the problem right away.
- Patients who have a history of dental anxiety will likely be more nervous about the treatment than other patients. Your dentist can help calm your nerves by offering sedation dentistry options, such as nitrous oxide or oral medications.
- If you have jaw problems like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you may find that your jaw pops, clicks, or locks during root canal treatment. Talk with your dentist about your TMJ if you know you have this issue, so that precautions might be taken to help avoid pain.
After your root canal is completed, expect some minor discomfort or tenderness at first. Over-the-counter pain medications should relieve pain and reduce swelling. If your pain is more severe, ask your dentist for a prescription for a stronger pain medication. Your dentist will provide you with a list things to watch for as you heal that might indicate you need to return for a checkup. Otherwise, you should expect a complete recovery within a few days.