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How Bad Does a Root Canal Really Hurt?

Posted on March 23, 2015 | in Root Canals | by

Root Canal FAQs…& Answers

Does a Root Canal Really Hurt?

In answer to the $64,000 question…do root canals really hurt, well no. Not really.

Well, not at all, really. Really, like not even at all.

It may sound like a trick your dentist is trying to play on you, but root canals actually relieve the pain!

Root canal therapy is actually a relatively painless procedure that affords you the opportunity to keep your natural tooth.

And that’s not just another dental myth.

Although many of us immediately panic when we hear the term, most fears about root canals are completely irrational or based on archaic root canal rumors from the Russian Gulags.

With today’s advancements in techniques, modern technology, & patient comfort, root canals can be as painless as a teeth cleaning.

So What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure to remove the infected tooth pulp when it gets infected due to a cavity or trauma.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, a root canal is a procedure done to save the damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal.

Root Canal Colgate Aetna

Image Credit: Colgate.com/Aetna

For those of us that have experienced tooth issues that are beyond the normal drill & fill, a root canal can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for total tooth replacement options like dental implants, dentures, or dental bridges.

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

Pulp isn’t just something in our orange juice, tooth pulp is the substance in the center of our teeth. This tooth pulp is actually a collection of blood vessels which aid in building the surrounding tooth substance.

It’s the infection of this tooth pulp that requires a root canal (endodontic treatment); infection caused by either trauma, decay, cracked or chipped teeth, or even older root canals that may have failed.

Symptoms of the infection can include:

– injury to the tooth caused by trauma
– swelling of the gums around the infected tooth
– sensitivity to temperature
– pain in the tooth and gums

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

The cost associated with any dental procedure really can’t be so generalized – because we’re all different individuals with entirely different levels of infection, medical histories, & genetic factors just to name a few of the variables affecting any treatment – and the associated cost.

Generally speaking, a root canal is way less expensive than having your dentist yank the tooth that’s giving you the pain – and then having to replace it with either a bridge or implant.

Really the most accurate answer we can give outside of sitting in your dentist’s chair, is that the cost of a root canal will depend on the severity of the infection and the location of the tooth, along with the health of your surrounding teeth & gums.

Are Root Canals Painful?

Not getting a root canal – or any necessary dental treatment – is painful, both in the infected tooth and in the wallet.

By not having root canal therapy done when it’s needed, will only cause further decay & deeper infection requiring more treatment, at an increased cost.

So once again, root canals are not painful…root canals relieve the pain!

Repeat that three times right now, keep saying that in your head, make it one of your dental health mantras so the next time you hear someone say how they’re dreading their root canal appointment you can drop some new school smile science on ’em!

Root canals are not painful…root canals relieve the pain!
Root canals are not painful…root canals relieve the pain!
Root canals are not painful…root canals relieve the pain!

Root Canal Awareness Week Is March 22nd-29th

Did you know that root canals restore and save an average of 17 million teeth each year?

Root Canal Awareness Week 2015

Root Canal Awareness Week is a national effort spearheaded by the American Association of Endodontists to raise awareness of endodontists, so that patients and general dentists know to contact a specialist when a root canal is needed.

Well that’s a little self-serving isn’t it?

Maybe, but we’re talking dentists here – they don’t get enough credit anyway so we can certainly forgive them for patting themselves on the back when it comes to root canals!

Root Canal Awareness Week is an excellent time to explain the important role endodontists play in dental health, and to teach the public that root canals should not be feared.
 

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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