You could have the best dental health regimen. You might brush twice a day for two minutes like your family dentist recommends. You floss every day. You never miss a checkup. But still the odds are that you will need a root canal eventually. It’s inevitable.
But don’t worry. Root canals aren’t nearly as painful as people think. Dental technology, especially numbing agents has advanced to such a degree that you hardly feel any pain during the procedure. You may feel some pain the next day but this is easily mitigated with over the counter pain medication.
Here’s how to have a painless root canal and survive the recovery process as comfortably as possible.
Root Canals Treat Pain — Not Cause It
If done right, the most painful part of a root canal is before you actually get the root canal. Most people need a root canal because the nerve of the tooth has become infected or damaged. This can be extremely painful. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons people call in for dental emergencies. It’s no joke.
The root canal will remove this infected pulp. Once completed, you don’t have to worry about the infection or the pain getting worse. The nerve is removed and usually replaced with a rubber like material called gutta percha. Then you can go back to your normal life again — chewing, brushing, and flossing pain-free.
Modern Root Canals are a Piece of Cake
Thanks to advancements in dental science and pain numbing technology, most patients feel little to no discomfort in the treatment of a root canal, according to the American Association of Endodontists.
So don’t worry — we’ll give you the good stuff. Add some laughing gas to our numbing solution and turn up the Pink Floyd on the iPod. Your mouth will be on Cloud 9! You won’t feel a thing.
Pain Treatment After the Root Canal
You may experience some discomfort in the days following the procedure. Sometimes, the pain can be severe. You can treat this pain with anti-inflammatory medication such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen. We may subscribe you something stronger.
If the pain is severe, apply an ice-pack to the hurt area. You might also treat the area with clove oil — available at most drug stores and even in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Swishing with salt water can also ease inflammation and provide relief.
You could also treat the pain with Orajel, a benzocaine which can temporarily numb your gums and any inflamed tissues. It is available at any pharmacy.
It’s also a good idea to sleep on elevated pillows to reduce potential bleeding. Sleeping or resting on elevated pillows will ease gum and nerve pain and direct blood flow in one direction.
Make yourself a cup of peppermint tea and drink the tea when it has reached a comfortable temperature. Take the warm tea bags and use them as a compress against the swollen area.