Root Canal Pain: Three Things to Expect

Root Canal Pain: Three Things to Expect

Feb 01, 2020

Do you remember back then when root canals used to be painful? Well, a lot has changed since then. With sedation dentistry, the procedure today is painless with less discomfort. Root canal treatment is done to get rid of the infected pulp, stop the decay from spreading and save the tooth from extraction.

A root canal is not as painful as its taunted to be, but here is what to expect:

1. There Will Be No Pain During the Root Canal Treatment

At Dipika Shah, DDS, LLC we ensure that the procedure is safe and pain-free. Before the procedure, our endodontist will take you through the procedure and discuss the available sedation types we use.

  • Oral sedation includes a nitrous oxide or laughing gas which eases the discomfort but does not cause you to sleep. Oral sedation is mild and is ideal for people with mild to moderate anxiety.
  • IV sedation is administered through the veins. Although it doesn’t cause you to sleep, you will be less aware of what is going on.
  • General anesthesia or sleep sedation is for complex dental procedures. If you have multiple root canals, the dentist may give you general sedation. You will be asleep during the procedure and you will also not have a recollection of went on. Furthermore, the dentist will have to use medication to reduce the effects of the anesthesia.

The type of sedation used will depend on the severity of the dental condition and your anxiety level.

2. You, Will, Have Pain After the Procedure

While it’s possible to have a pain-free procedure, you will have pain after the treatment. As the local anesthesia starts to wear off, you will begin to feel discomfort. You may also have slight sensitivity in your teeth and gums for a few days, and there are a few reasons for that:

  • Swollen or inflamed gums. Yes, the dentist will remove the nerves from the teeth, thereby reducing sensitivity. However, you will still have small nerves surrounding the tooth which can get inflamed after the procedure.
  • Damage to the surrounding tissue using the cleaning equipment
  • If the dentist used larger than normal filling, it can cause you to have a hard bite leading to sore teeth.

More often than not, the discomfort and sensitivity will last for a few days. If it doesn’t improve even with the use of home remedies, it is vital to contact our endodontist for an assessment.

3. Your Aftercare Tips Will Affect Recovery Process

Since the root canal pain is mild, you can manage it with home remedies such as:

  • Pain medications and antibiotics

Tooth infection is common after the procedure, and to mitigate the condition, the dentist will give you antibiotics. You may also need antibiotics before the treatment if your immune system is compromised to keep infection at bay.

Pain relievers can also help alleviate pain and discomfort, but you need to speak to the dentist on the type of medication to use.

  • Keep your head elevated

You will experience pain and swelling after treatment, and you can reduce its effects by elevating your head. Moreover, keeping your leg elevated will also reduce bleeding.

Warm salty water can also help with regulating bleeding and keep the wound clean.

  • Use ice compression

Most dentists advise patients to use ice or eat ice cream after the treatment because the cold compression will help to relieve inflammation. Apply ice pack every 20 minutes for the first four to six hours, but don’t place it directly to the skin to prevent bruising. Avoid heat during this time as it causes swelling.

  • Pay attention to what you eat

Avoid foods that require too much chewing, instead eat more eggs, fish, oatmeal, rice, and soups. Plus, stay away from spicy, crunchy, hard and hot foods because they can irritate the gums. Additionally, stop smoking for the first few days.

Take Away

A root canal is a major dental procedure and pain and discomfort are expected especially after the treatment. However, with proper aftercare, you can reduce the discomfort. The pain is expected to last for only a few days, but if it doesn’t, call our dentist immediately for an assessment.

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