What’s a Root Canal? Will It Hurt? What You Need to Know

Root canals are common procedures that dentists use to help patients suffering from an infection in one of their teeth. While many people have heard about root canals, it’s common for patients to know little about the procedure. As your dentist in Medina, OH, we can answer any questions that you may have about your upcoming dental procedure. Below are some of the most common questions (and answers) that patients have about root canals.

What’s a root canal?

A root canal is a dental emergency procedure that’s performed when a tooth has become infected. To perform a root canal, the dentist drills into the pulp inside the tooth enamel. The infection inside the tooth is cleaned out.

Once this is done, the hollow tooth is filled and sealed with a material that will prevent the infection from returning. After the tooth has been sealed, a crown is placed on the weakened enamel to protect it from cracking and breaking in the future.

Do root canals hurt?

Root canals don’t usually hurt because the dentist numbs the area before going to work. Your tooth will hurt before the root canal is performed, because tooth infections are usually very painful.

How can I tell if I need a root canal?

One of the clearest signs that you have a dental problem is a painful tooth. Severe tooth pain is often a sign of an infection and should be seen by the dentist as soon as possible. In addition, there are other signs that you need a root canal, including:

  • Swelling around the site of the infection
  • A bad smell on your breath
  • A crack or hole in the tooth

If you’re noticing any of these symptoms, see the dentist as soon as possible. Failure to see the dentist when you have a tooth infection could result in loss of your permanent tooth, so don’t delay.

How can you prevent root canals in the future?

One way that you can prevent tooth infections is by seeing the dentist for preventative dental care in Medina, OH. At Evanko Dental Group of Medina, we always encourage patients to practice preventative dental care by seeing the dentist twice a year for cleanings. When was the last time you saw the dentist? Call today to make an appointment.


Should I Be Nervous About a Root Canal?

This common question stems largely from general fears of dentistry. The instruments, equipment, and anesthetic can all be triggers for people, even if they’re going in for little more than routine cleaning. If you’re nervous about a root canal, we’ll look at whether these fears are warranted.

The Honest Truth

We’ll start with the less convenient facet of these procedures: the truth is that there is such a thing as painful root canals. The exact details as to why will differ depending on the person who had the procedure done. In some cases, it will be due to an unavoidable problem, such as the configuration of the pulp or underlying damage. Certain health conditions can exacerbate pain or mask its source. In others, it may be because the dentist made an error during the root canal.

The Upside

The good news is that painful root canals are not the norm. In the past, root canals were intense procedures, ones that might have been put off for months or even years at the person’s request. However bad their tooth pain was, the alternative might have seemed far worse.

Thankfully, root canals are so ubiquitous that they left the dental industry little choice but to get better at them. With every new improvement came less pain, faster recovery periods, and happier patients.

So why are there still people who are worried? There’s still a lot of residual fear that can be passed down from generation to generation. Also, as mentioned, there is such a thing as root canals that go awry.

What You Can Do

If you want to allay your nerves, the best thing you can do is look for a dentist who is skilled in root canals. A professional who specializes can go a long way to discovering problems when you’re in the chair rather than after you’ve left the parking lot.

Doing your homework can have everything to do with the outcome of your procedure. From the customer reviews to education to experience, these things can all matter when it comes to the results. And while there’s no such thing as perfection, you can get pretty close when you work with a dentist who knows the ins and outs of root canals.