Root canal. No other phrase elicits as much horror in dental patients. But root canal pain is in fact avoidable with regular dental checks and by solving minor issues before they become major.
What is a root canal?
WebMD point out the root canal as that part of the tooth within the root, which in turn is the part that lies inside the gums.
What is a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment, also known as “endodontic” treatments, involves the removal of the infected pulp, and hollowing out any infected tissue using very small instruments.
Afterwards, the dentist fills the now hollow space with a natural latex-derived material. The dentist will then close up the cavity with a filling. During this time, patients are recommended to avoid chewing with the tooth to avoid stresses on the tooth, and to not chip or even possibly dislodge the temporary filling.
Usually, after the root canal treatment is completed, the dentist will place a “jacket”, commonly known as a dental crown, over the tooth to protect it from fracturing, as the tooth becomes very brittle and susceptible to fracture if left unprotected.
What causes it?
Root canal infection can come from a variety of causes, including deep tooth decay, a cracked or chipped tooth, and irritation from repeated dental procedures. Bacteria seeps into the pulp area and down to the nerve.
Who can treat it?
Root canals can be performed by your general dental surgeon, but in some cases dentists can refer patients to an endodontist. Endodontists are dental specialists who have taken extra years of study to specialize in treatments relating to the interior of the tooth and roots.
Is it even worth it?
When left untreated, an infected root canal can cause severe swelling which may migrate down towards the throat area, restricting your breathing. The better you get an infected tooth seen and treated by a dentist, the better.
Is it really painful?
Modern root canal treatments employ powerful local anaesthetic to ensure that you do not feel anything during the procedure. After the treatment, the tooth itself and the area surrounding the tooth can feel tender and/or sore.
How can I effectively manage post-treatment pain?
Less than half of all root canal procedure patients experience postoperative pain, and only 1.4% report pain so unbearable as to impede their daily activities.
There is no need for despair if you’re part of the unlucky minority. Patients can relieve post-treatment discomfort using pain medication like ibuprofen or paracetamol. Dentists may also prescribe stronger pain medication or antibiotics for any residual infections, which patients should take religiously for faster recovery and healing.
A root canal treatment is one of the most common dental treatments in the world. With millions of people getting their teeth fixed every year, patients can rest assured that dentists and endodontists apply the most advanced procedures to ensure comfort and minimize root canal pain.
The faster you get a tooth treated, the higher the chances of saving and retaining it. If you are having any form of tenderness or persistent sensitivities or even tooth aches, you may wish to consult your dentist for a check.
Call us today to schedule an appointment or to get assessed. We also assist patients who might find the price of treatment too steep. Check out the affordable, root canal subsidy we offer our patients in Singapore, made possible by the Ministry of Health’s Community Health Assist Scheme.
Dental Focus – Dental Clinic in Singapore
10 Kaki Bukit Place, #04-00
Tel: 6747 0573