If you have an abscessed tooth or a tooth that decay has severely affected, your dentist may recommend that you do a root canal procedure. This procedure is often an alternative to pulling a tooth and keeps the tooth in your mouth, which is often better for your overall oral health in the long term.
Of course, if you’re like most patients, you probably have a few questions about root canal procedures. Hopefully, you will find the answers below.
1. Are Root Canals Painful?
Somewhere along the line, root canals got the unfortunate reputation of being painful. The idea of a dentist drilling into your tooth and removing the pulp — which is what happens during a root canal — does not sound pleasant. And it would not be if not for modern anesthetics.
Thankfully, your dentist will inject your gums with a local anesthetic prior to doing any work on your tooth. This won’t render you unconscious like general anesthesia, but it will ensure you don’t feel a thing during the procedure. You’ll just feel a mild pinch and stinging sensation during the injection itself.
Some patients do experience jaw aches from holding their mouth open during the root canal, but this tends to be minor. If you’ve dealt with toothaches and other dental discomfort, a root canal can actually ease that pain.