Just hearing the words “root canal” can send shivers up the spine. Even people who have never had root canal treatment think it may be the worst thing to happen to someone. But here is the truth: root canal treatment doesn’t CAUSE pain—it RELIEVES it.
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
- Swelling and/or tenderness
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is simply the removal of the dental pulp from inside the roots of your teeth and the sealing off those roots to prevent infection. Dental pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown to the top of the root in tubes called “root canals.”
The pulp can get infected from deep cavities, trauma, or cracks in teeth. A root canal gets rid of the soft, infected pulp and seals off the canals. As the infection heals the pain goes away.
Pain-Free Root Canals
If we do our job and get our patient’s numb (anesthetized) there should be virtually no pain having root canal treatment. Sometimes teeth are so severely painful it takes time and patience to get that tooth numb. That is the key to successful and painless root canals.
Often our patients get out of the dental chair after root canal treatment and say, “Is that all there is to it?” That’s a good day at the office.