Root Canal –The one word that is enough to evoke every possible horrific response from the depth of the soul. As a trained endodontist (Root canal specialist / root canal treatment in Pune)
you can imagine what I go through everyday of my life dispelling the myth and the fear revolving around my everyday work. At that point when I tell my patient those three terrible words, “You need a root canal.” I actually spend more time soothing and calming my patients than it takes me to actually complete my work.
So what is it about this dreaded word that can make the strongest individual cringe?
Are Root Canals Actually that Painful?
Root canal pain and stories are like the old folklore that’s handed down generation after generation sometimes without a grain of truth in it. Any nerve in the body gives you a pain response and so does the nerve of the tooth. It’s as simple as that. The only reason the tooth can hurt more is when we tend to neglect it and really let the infection and the irritation in the tooth flare up. Making it difficult to sleep at night, severe throbbing pain and plenty of tears. A visit to the Endodontist can actually relieve this pain and make it better not worse. A good anesthetic that can completely numb out the pain, followed by a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the tooth can make the miserable pain go away like magic. The root canal itself is painless.
The tooth is cleaned out but I still feel some pain?
This is normal immediately after the treatment as the tooth has been worked on and it’s natural for it to take a day or two for it to settle down like any other part of your body that you hurt.This discomfort can easily be take care of by a mild painkiller.
I got a Root Canal Done more that 6 months ago but it still hurts?
This should set alarm bells ringing. Something with the root canal is not right. You should get your root canal evaluated again with follow up Radiographs.
An infected nerve left behind can prevent the infection from healing and cause pain.
You’re probably going to need a root canal re-treatment .
How successful is root canal treatment?
There have been many people that ask me this all the time. Fact is, a well done root canal protected with a well-fitting crown can last a life time. So if the tooth can be saved, extractions are an absolute NO.
I’m not feeling any pain, so I don’t really need a root canal.
Plenty of times I have a lot of surprised patients who come in for a routine check and we may end up finding a tooth that needs a root canal. Many times when a root canal therapy is needed there may be no pain prior to it. But that does not mean the tooth is okay. Sometimes the nerve can get infected without causing any pain. There may be small pustule draining pus from your infected tooth and may need immediate attention even though there is no pain. After I get the root canal, I won’t have to go back to the dentist for a while. Your teeth need regular maintenance like your car and all your other gadgets. A root canal and a crown are not magic on your teeth. You have to check the health of your treated teeth like you would your natural ones with regular follow-ups and Xrays.
So here’s a quick set of tips for that absolutely painless and perfect root canal:
1.Pain: If you’ve had persistent, sporadic or night time throbbing pain its time to see your dentist. Dentists who are trained to do root canals are called endodontists.
2.Magnification: The internal structure of the tooth can be extremely complex and may have additional canals in the tooth. It is a good idea to pick a practice that works with a dental microscope, that way the chances of your root canal going wrong is rare.
3. Old Root Canals: Previously done old root canals can sometimes get infected or flare up with pain, discomfort or swelling. You need a re-treatment. The most successful way of ensuring success for the repeat work is that it can be aided with the use of a dental microscope. Re-treatments are very successful and can last for years.
4. Disinfection: To prevent the tooth from getting infected the use of a rubber dam is a golden standard for successful root canals. Make sure your dentist uses one.
5. Infected Teeth: Severely infected teeth may sometimes take months to heal with constant change of medication and no pain at all. Be patient. Your dentist is a care provider not a magician.
6. Extracting The Tooth: Extractions are an absolute no if the tooth can be saved. Nothing works better than what nature created.
With this I sign of for this week and hope you walk into your endodontist’s office with a big grin on your face for the next root canal.