According to the American Association of Orthodontics, more than 15 million people undergo root canals in the United States. Despite its growing prevalence, many people still aren’t sure what to expect during and after getting a root canal.
If you’re reading this, you may be getting ready to undergo a root canal. You may be wondering, “Do root canals hurt? What should I expect after the procedure? How can I deal with tooth sensitivity?” PRO-SYS is here to answer all of your questions.
What Is a Root Canal?
First, let’s talk about what a root canal entails. A root canal is a dental procedure that involves cleaning out the decay in an infected tooth. Dentists extract bacteria from the tooth pulp, disinfect it with antibiotics, fill the empty roots, and seal the affected area to prevent further decay.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Dentists perform root canals when a tooth has already become infected or decayed. The procedure leaves the natural tooth in place and prevents decay, but the affected tooth is now more fragile, which is why it typically needs to be covered with a crown.
Upon hearing this, you may wonder, “How bad does a root canal hurt?” Root canals may seem like a scary procedure, but the truth is that you will experience little to no pain while undergoing it. Dentists use local anesthesia to numb the affected area and keep you comfortable during the procedure.
Root canals are often perceived as the most painful dental procedure. However, the reality is that it is not as painful as others think. In fact, studies have found that only 17% of people who have had a root canal would describe the procedure as their “most painful dental experience.”
Can a Tooth Be Sensitive After a Root Canal?
Don’t be too alarmed if your tooth hurts after a root canal. You may feel mild pain and tooth sensitivity once the local anesthetic wears off. However, the discomfort and sensitivity you feel will typically subside in a few days.
Your dentist will prescribe some over-the-counter medications for pain relief. If the pain persists for more than a few days or the medicines don’t lessen the symptoms, please consult your dentist.
How to Deal With Tooth Sensitivity After a Root Canal
Feeling a minor tooth sensitivity after a root canal is normal, but there are ways to relieve or lessen the discomfort you experience. Here are a few tips to help you manage your tooth sensitivity:
- Avoid eating overly hard foods. Eating hard foods, such as apples or corn on the cob, can trigger pain and tooth sensitivity after you’ve just had a root canal, so avoid these for now.
- Stay away from food and beverages that are too hot or too cold. When you have sensitive teeth and gums, too hot (like coffee) or cold (like ice cream) foods can aggravate the symptoms and compromise your temporary filling.
- Brush your teeth regularly. Keeping up with your oral hygiene is crucial for tooth sensitivity following a root canal. As much as possible, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or one that’s specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
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