A root canal is a standard dental procedure that falls under the category of general dentistry. Although it is not much different from a cavity filling, the root canal has somehow gotten a reputation for being a long and painful ordeal. The truth is that the procedure itself is not painful due to the use of local anesthesia, and any residual pain following the root canal is easily manageable with over the counter pain medication.
If you’re wondering how long your pain may last after getting a root canal, if you have any at all, here’s what you can expect.
Discomfort Should Last No More Than 3 Days
The good news is that many patients feel no pain or discomfort after a root canal. In cases where patients do feel residual pain once the anesthesia wears off, the pain should last no more than 3 days. Pain following a root canal is typically manageable with over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen(Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
What To Do About Severe or Lasting Pain
Typical pain or discomfort following a root canal is most often described as mild soreness. If you experience severe pain or if your discomfort lasts longer than 3 days, contact your dentist. Severe and persistent pain could indicate a postoperative infection that may need to be addressed with an antibiotic.
What Does a Root Canal Entail?
To understand why you may be sore after a root canal, it helps to know what a root canal procedure entails.
- Local anesthesia is applied to the area where the root canal will take place.
- The dentist will enter the tooth through a small hole in the crown. The goal is to reach the inner root canal of the tooth that contains the pulp, which consists of tissue, blood vessels, and nerves that keep the tooth alive.
- The pulp is completely removed from the inside of the tooth. The tooth is flushed out and disinfected to eliminate any bacteria.
- The inside of the tooth is filled with composite material to prevent the tooth from being reinfected.
- The crown of the tooth is sealed off with composite material or covered with a dental crown. The natural tooth and root remains in place in the jaw.
Why Might There Be Pain After a Root Canal?
When a dental procedure is performed on a tooth it can make the tooth and the area around it sore for a few days. Dental work can irritate the gum tissue and support structures of the tooth. Pressure is often applied to the tooth during the procedure that can lead to pain or discomfort afterwards once the anesthesia wears off. All of this is normal and no cause for concern, as long as the pain is mild and that it subsides after a few days.
A Root Canal Can Reduce or Eliminate Pain
Sometimes a root canal is needed because a tooth is infected. An infected tooth can be extremely painful, requiring immediate attention to provide relief. The root canal procedure includes removal of the nerves inside of the tooth, which means that you should no longer feel any pain in the tooth itself afterwards. If your dentist recommends a root canal for a tooth that is not infected but at risk, you can prevent pain by having the root canal done proactively.
Why Choose Doctors Lake Family Dental for your Root Canal?
Doctors Lake Family Dental provides root canal treatment for patients of all ages. Whether you have a severe toothache that needs to be addressed or your dentist finds a deep cavity that is putting your tooth at risk of infection, it is wise to have a root canal. A root canal done by Doctors Lake Family Dental is more likely to relieve or prevent pain than it is to cause you pain.