Home / Dental / The levels of pain and discomfort associated with root canal procedures.

The levels of pain and discomfort associated with root canal procedures.

A root canal procedure is the removal of bacteria from the tooth’s root canal, putting measures in place to prevent reinfection and saving the tooth in the process. Generally, it involves the extraction of the infected pulp after which the resultant space is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before filling it up and sealing the tooth. Currently, with numbing medicine and modern anesthesia, root canal treatments ultimately defeat the pain of dying nerves without necessarily causing severe pain. There may be some discomfort and mild pains after the procedure which can be effectively dealt with by recommended pain reliever drugs. However, after a while, the tooth will heal completely improving your dental health and eliminating any pain resulting from the tooth.

How much pain to expect.

A significant number of individuals have reported having experienced some sensitivity a few days after the root canal procedure however the pain is comparatively little compared to what they felt when the tooth was still infected. There are various reasons that would result in this post-procedural sensitivity with a few of them including;

  • Instrument damage-  there are instruments that are used in the boring, pulp extraction and closing up of the tooth during the procedure. Sometimes, the dental instrument which was used in the root canal can interfere with surrounding sensitive tissue that may lead to discomfort after the numbing anesthetics wear off.
  • Swollen tissue around the gums- although the root canal by now has been removed by the dentist some nerves are still present on the various tissues that surround the tooth and ligaments. Inflammation of such areas after the procedure can still lead to discomfort being felt by the patient.
  • High temporary filling-  this occurs when the dentist uses temporary filling without leveling it down to the required sizes. chances are high that the tooth may be caused to bite harder on a particular area if it’s a little higher than other surrounding parts of the tooth. The tooth will consequently become sore hence the discomfort felt by the patient.

All in all, if the pain doesn’t go away after a few days, or persist to levels which cannot be relieved by pain relievers you should visit the dentist as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment

How to manage the pain after undergoing the procedure?

Even though root canal treatments ultimately defeat the pain of dying nerves there still may be some discomfort and mild pains afterward. Over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended for relieving of such pains however they are supposed to be strictly taken as per the instructions given. If the medication is not making any difference you should then call your dentist for further instructions as opposed to upping the pain reliever dosage.

Avoid biting down or chewing with the affected tooth at least until the final restoration is done. The temporary filling used by the dentists is quite delicate and is likely to break if exposed to such conditions. Above all, the patient should maintain proper oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing.

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