Most people associate having a root canal with a lot of pain and discomfort. While most people can expect some discomfort during and after the procedure, excessive pain is not normal.
Modern technology and the use of anaesthetics make this procedure quick, safe, typically pain free, and an excellent way to help save a natural tooth. Fast facts on root canals:
- a root canal will treat the diseased tissue while preserving the rest of the tooth;
- a person will be given anaesthetic before the procedure, so it is usually no more painful than a typical dental filling; and,
- if a root canal fails, redoing it can fix the problem.
In most cases, the sensitivity and discomfort associated with a root canal should go away within a few days. If it does not get better, or if the pain is severe or unrelieved by home measures, call your endodontist or dentist for an evaluation.
Fortunately, most root canals are successful. However, some root canal treatments are unsuccessful, and a person can experience more pain. There are many reasons why this happens:
- the restoration begins to leak;
- poor oral hygiene;
- breakdown of the tooth or sealing material over time;
- presence of an extra canal in the tooth that the endodontist cannot see;
- an obstruction such as a curved root canal that prevents complete cleaning of the canal;
- vertical cracks in the tooth; and,
- dentist or endodontist error.
Over the counter or prescription pain relievers should be sufficient to relieve the pain after a root canal.