Root canal treatments can be as painless as regular fillings thanks to modern technology. At Canal Vista Family Dental, we use state-of-the-art techniques that make it possible to complete your root canal treatment in a gentle, efficient manner. Endodontic treatments like root canals are used to relieve your pain, not create more discomfort.
What You’ll Feel During Your Appointment
Root canal treatment shouldn’t be any more uncomfortable than regular restorative procedures like dental fillings and crowns. Endodontic treatment is intended to relieve painful toothaches. They don’t cause any additional discomfort. The only thing you will feel is pressure thanks to the effective numbing medications being used. Root canals do take longer to complete, so you might feel some mild soreness if your mouth is kept open for an extended period of time.
Root canals are often thought to be painful, but in reality, they relieve dental pain. The tooth’s nerve has already become infected, leading to swelling and an abscess. Since these teeth can be difficult to numb with local anesthetic, this could make matters more complicated. Antibiotics will reduce inflammation and improve your comfort during the planned procedure so that you’ll feel more comfortable during your appointment as well as the recovery.
No, Recovery from a Root Canal Isn’t Difficult
After a nerve has been removed, it is practically impossible for a tooth or other body part to feel pain. There are no nerves running through the root or to the major nerves that could give the impression of a toothache. Endodontic therapy should usually leave your tooth with no residual pain. However, it’s not unusual to experience some minor discomfort from an open mouth or pain at the injection sites. These issues are temporary and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and warm compresses.
People often believe that root canal therapy will cause severe, constant pain for hours or days after their appointment. This is not the case thanks to modern technology. In reality, patients are often in pain before they get a root canal because of the abscess in their mouth. Root canals are intended to alleviate the pain and make you more comfortable in addition to saving the tooth from extraction. Our Princeton, NJ, dentist uses endodontics to treat the problem, so there’s no reason to expect you’ll feel any worse afterward.
What to Expect After You Get Back Home
After any dental procedure, it is not uncommon to feel some sensitivity or soreness at various places in your mouth. It can take several hours for the anesthetic to wear off before things feel normal again. You may even feel a little more conscious of the area after major restorations such as crowns, root canals, and large fillings are performed. There is no “recovery” that you need to plan for, as there aren’t necessarily any tissues there that need to heal.
Most likely, you’ll be able to go back to a fairly normal diet immediately after a root canal. Dr. Bestandji will place a temporary crown (“cap”) on the tooth while the permanent one is being designed at the lab. It’s important to take care not to remove it with anything sticky or hard. Flossing should also be done carefully, since this restoration is solely temporary. Otherwise, there aren’t many changes that you will need to make in the first few days, aside from being cautious with your eating and oral hygiene habits.
What Might Cause Discomfort After a Root Canal?
If you feel discomfort after a root-canal procedure, it’s likely due to one of a few specific causes. Most soreness or minor irritation can be managed using an over-the counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or Motrin. You can also use a cool compress and rinse with warm salt water to minimize any swelling. You will rarely, if ever, need a prescription painkiller. Why? Because any soreness is typically due to something other than your tooth.
The most common reason people feel sore after a root canal or any other dental work is the injection required to make them comfortable. To numb the tooth, our Princeton cosmetic dentist will need to inject local anesthetic into that area of your mouth. The injection site may be sore for a day or two, the same way your skin would be after getting a vaccine.
Another common reason for soreness after root canal treatment is holding your mouth open for an extended period. The TMJ (jaw joint) located on each side of your mandible, and just in front of your ear, can become a bit sore, especially if it’s stretched open for a long time. Dr. Bestandji will use a bite prop for you to rest your teeth on. This reduces the strain on the joint. The bite block acts in the same way as a prop to hold a door open, but it’s your teeth so that your jaws/TMJ can relax during the appointment. Although jaw pain following root canal therapy is temporary it can last for several days. The same applies to any other joint in your body that is sore or strained. It can be helpful to alternate cold and warm compresses for discomfort in the jaw. Motrin/ibuprofen can also be helpful.
Referred pain is another possibility. If you have a sensitive tooth or another area in your mouth causing discomfort, your brain may interpret the signals as coming from your root canal tooth, because many teeth share the same major nerves. Using a sensitive toothpaste can help with minor tooth irritation if you have something like gum recession or demineralization coming into play.
We’re Always Here to Help
Root canal therapy is intended to alleviate pain and discomfort, plus save your tooth. It is not normal to feel more tooth pain or hurt after root canal therapy. Call us today if you are unable to eat, sleep, and go to work.
To minimize irritation, always follow the home care instructions that we provide.