Root canal treatments (endodontic therapy) have a bad reputation. One for being uncomfortable and making dental patients absolutely miserable any time that a root canal is needed. But is that really the case?
In truth, root canals are no more uncomfortable than any other type of dental treatment. Why? Because the area of the mouth around the tooth is anesthetized, preventing any type of nerve stimulation that could trigger discomfort or pain. Then, just like a filling, crown, or other procedure, the tooth is prepped and restored without any discomfort being felt.
However, there is one downside to root canals: they take time. Most root canal procedures take about double the time of other visits, and this is why some patients may complain about their appointment. Keeping the mouth open can make the jaws sore, and when you’re ready for the appointment to be over it may make it seem even longer than it is.
Thankfully there are ways to minimize jaw discomfort during your treatment. Most dentists use a small prop to help you rest your jaws so that there is no strain to the joint around it. Taking an over the counter medication like ibuprofen or applying a warm compress can alleviate muscle discomfort. Another option is to ask your dentist whether or not he or she offers sedation treatments in their office. Being able “nap” right through the procedure can make you more comfortable and help it to go by much quicker.
Putting your root canal off too long can make it impossible to restore your tooth at all. Talk to your dentist about the best way to keep your endodontic treatment as simple as possible.
Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
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