How Bad Is Pain After Root Canal Surgery?

Monday, January 7, 2019
How Bad Is Pain After Root Canal Surgery?

The term “root canal” often garners grimaces from patients who may be unfamiliar with the actual procedure. When discussing root canals with their dentists, patients often express concern regarding potential pain after a root canal procedures.

At Penn Dental Family Practice, we aim to mitigate unnecessary fear or anxiety regarding root canal treatment. The pain leading up to a root canal is actually far worse than what patients feel following the procedure.

Debunking Myths About Root Canals and Pain After Root Canal Surgery

The thought of the discomfort that follows a root canal procedure sometimes thwarts patients from getting the dental care they need. In reality, a root canal will alleviate pain caused by harmful infected tissue in the affected tooth. Patients do not experience pain during the procedure because anesthesia is administered beforehand.

Root canal procedures address the direct cause of pain: an infection of the tooth’s root. A root canal has the potential to save your tooth! Prior to the development of this treatment, dentists historically had to pull the affected tooth. Aside from the aesthetic issues that come with having a tooth pulled, there are multiple reasons to preserve the tooth when possible.

The gap created when a tooth is extracted can cause the remaining teeth to shift. This presents potential problems involving jaw alignment and the overall structural integrity of the jaw and mouth. It can also increase the likelihood of tooth decay and wear-and-tear to the teeth.

pain after root canalRather than extract a tooth, when the tooth’s root, nerves, and blood vessels (collectively referred to as pulp) become infected, your dentist will consider performing a root canal. As a result of the tooth pulp becoming infected, the area surrounding the tooth becomes inflamed leading to pain and swelling. Other symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal include:

  • Pain or sensitivity in the tooth or the jaw and gum surrounding the tooth.
  • Discoloration of one or more teeth.
  • Swelling and/or drainage in the lymph nodes.

A consultation with your Penn Dental Family Practice dentist will ultimately confirm the need for a root canal. After your dentist removes the infection from the tooth pulp, a temporary filling will be placed to restore and reinforce the tooth from further damage.

Now about that pain.

It’s not uncommon to experience some level of soreness following a root canal procedure, as your mouth needs to recover from any inflammation. Nevertheless, the pain following a root canal is nothing compared to the pain of an infected tooth root left untreated.

Your dentist will provide post-surgery instructions to help you maximize your healing and recovery while reducing your pain and swelling. An antibiotic may be prescribed to ensure all infection is eliminated, and a mild pain reliever may be suggested to address discomfort.

Can Root Canals Be Prevented?

Tooth decay and trauma to the tooth are the top reasons for root canals. Practicing best oral health habits by taking care of your teeth and gums daily are some of the best things you can do to avoid root canal surgery.

If you suspect you may need root canal surgery, don’t let your anxiety about pain after root canal treatment prevent you from getting evaluated. Along with the specialized knowledge of an endodontist, a Penn Dental Family Practice dentist will be using the most advanced approaches in treatment to ensure your safety and comfort.

Don’t wait! Call us now at 215-898-PDFP (7337) today to set up your appointment.