Can Root Canal Treatment Be Painless?

In terms of dental procedures, root canal therapy is possibly one of the most dreaded and even feared treatments. So horrified are some people at the thought of root canal treatment or endodontic therapy as it is also known, that the mention of it leaves them running scared.

A great deal of the myth comes from the outdated dentistry methods that were used several decades ago for this procedure:

The Reality of Root Canal Treatment

Even though the pain of an abscess or an inflamed nerve can be unbearable, root canal treatment doesn't involve any pain whatsoever. With all the advancements in modern-day dentistry, the procedure has essentially become entirely painless. Indeed, the patients who most fear this treatment are those who are new to it. A caring approach and a little reassurance from a dentist can do a great deal to relieve patient anxiety, but it isn't until the patient has had the first session of treatment that they marvel at how pain-free it all is.  

What Does Root Canal Therapy Entail?

  1. The first step in the process is to completely numb the patient's mouth. Usually, the center of the tooth is opened to allow access to the dental pulp where the nerve resides. The dentist uses a drill to make this opening, and the sensation is no different to the treatment given to address a cavity. Apart from the normal noise in a dentist's office and the water spray, this first stage is generally completed very rapidly. The only drilling that is done is the little that takes place during this first stage of the process.
  2. Once the dentist has uncovered the pulp, they use instruments to remove the pulp tissue, including the root pulp, from the inner part of the tooth. It should be noted that the roots are not actually removed, it is just the pulp contained in them that is removed. The inside of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected, and the area (which is known as the root canal system) is sealed with gutta percha, which is an inert filler.    

This is just an outline of what root canal treatment generally entails but there can be variations to the procedure. For example, an abscess or infection may be present. Still, the aim of the procedure is the same, which is to ensure the patient is comfortable, take out the pulp, disinfect the canals, shape the canals, and seal the area to prevent any further infection in the future.

Once root canal therapy is completed, the tooth will need to be restored properly to prevent it getting fractured. 

On a last note it should be said although the thought of root canal treatment can instill fear, the procedure is usually pain-free and often something of a non-event. The idea that this is a painful procedure is nothing more than a myth. If you want to learn more, contact a company such as Pooley Dentistry with any questions you have.