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Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

Brunette woman cringes and touches her cheek in pain due to a tooth that requires root canal therapy

When you think of root canal therapy, you probably think of a painful dental procedure. However, root canal treatment is not as bad as you’d think! Here, we’ll explain what root canal therapy is and explain why it will actually relieve your tooth pain.

Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that treats severe tooth decay or a tooth infection. Tooth decay that has only affected the enamel or dentin (the layer underneath the enamel) usually only requires a simple filling. But if decay or an infection has reached the pulp (your tooth’s inner sterile bundle of nerves and blood vessels), root canal therapy is necessary to clean out the damage or infection in order to preserve your natural tooth. If a tooth that needs root canal therapy is left untreated, the decay or infection can spread to other teeth and can even lead to tooth loss and bone loss.

What Is the Root Canal Procedure?

During a root canal treatment, the source of your tooth pain, inflammation, and infection will be removed. First, the damaged or infected pulp in the tooth root is cleaned out. The treatment site is then filled in with a special material that will block off the root to prevent anything from getting into it and causing further damage. The filling helps to strengthen your tooth, as does a crown that will serve as its protective cover, and both allow you to chew without any pain.

Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

After decay irritates the nerve structure of your tooth, the tip of your tooth root can become infected, which leads to swelling and pain. During the root canal procedure, your tooth is anesthetized so you will hardly feel anything but afterwards the pain of your toothache will be gone.

Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy If I Don’t Have Pain?

Sometimes, even if the pulp of a tooth is damaged or infected, you don’t feel any pain. This may be because the decay or damage is so advanced, your tooth’s nerves are completely dead. Or, you might see something that looks like a pimple on your gums. This is called a fistula, which is tissue that is draining pus from your infected tooth. People who have fistulas may not feel pain because the fistula relieves pressure from inside the tissue. But pain does not always correlate with the severity of an oral health issue. Because you may not be able to detect dental problems, it’s critical to come see us every six months so we can check the health of your teeth and gums.

We Can Help You Have Great Oral Health!

If you are experiencing any tooth pain or find a fistula, contact us immediately to schedule an appointment. And don’t worry, because relief is just a root canal procedure away.