Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
Most people afraid of root canal treatment (RCT) because they assume it is going to be painful. RCT removes the dead or infected pulp and thus, solves the pain. In some cases, mild temporary discomfort might be expected for the first few hours or 1-2 days after the procedure.
When do you need a root canal treatment?
RCT is necessary when the pulp inside the tooth is inflamed or infected. It can be caused by several reasons which includes
- deep decay
- traumatic injury that break the tooth
What are the signs and symptoms of needing a root canal treatment?
- pain when biting or affecting sleep
- pimples on the gum, with or without yellowish discharge
- cracked tooth
- swelling or abscess
How it is done?
Our dentist will remove the infected pulp tissue in the root, then clean and enlarge the space in the root canal to get rid of the bacteria. The canal is then flushed with chemical and filled with medication to ensure good disinfection. Temporary filling was placed to cover the access cavity to prevent oral fluid or food from going in.
Usually, RCT requires 2 or more visits. In the second visit, the canal is filled and sealed with permanent filling. Depending on the case, sometime the tooth need a post and crown for it to last long.
Can root canal treatment last?
RCT if done properly has excellent success rate, as good as if not better than other alternative like dental implant. However, it is equally important to have a good coronal seal after successful root canal treatment. If our dentist recommends a crown or onlay, please follow the advice, especially in heavily restored tooth or back teeth like premolars and molars.
Can I eat after root canal treatment?
Yes, but try to have soft diet. Hard food might hurt the tooth and wear off the temporary filling between visits. And also gentle reminder to be careful when eating before numbness from the local anaesthesia injection wears off so you don’t bite your cheek or tongue.
What happen if I refused the treatment?
Some dead tooth that requires RCT can be painless at some stages. However, if left untreated, the infection can worsen and spread to other part of the body, causing more complicated problem. Another treatment option is extraction which is irreversible. If you wish to delay the root canal treatment, our dentist might recommend pulpectomy to remove the infected pulp first to solve the pain.
Can I brush and floss my teeth after treatment?
Yes, no problem to brush and floss like normal, unless told otherwise by our dentist.
Will the tooth change to dark colour after root canal treatment?
Generally, root treated tooth will have greyish tint after many years. But most of the stain actually come from the dried blood left inside the tooth especially if RCT was not done right after the pulp is infected. Fortunately, it is not difficult to bleach the tooth and return it to original shade after RCT. This procedure is called walking bleaching or non vital bleaching.
Can root canal treatment cause cancer?
No. The myth is not supported by any scientific evidence. RCT removes the infection and improves the health of a person. There is no correlation between root canal treatment and cancer.
Would extraction be a better option?
RCT saves your natural tooth from being extracted. Nothing looks, feels or functions like your natural tooth. Root canal treatment is still cost effective when compared to dental implants. If extraction space is left unrestored, tilting of adjacent and opposing teeth will occur and lead to food stuck, decay and other problem in long term.
Find out more about cost of RCT here.
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