Now, you’re probably wondering if a root canal procedure hurts because you currently have pain in your tooth. The blood vessels and nerves running through the inside of your tooth are getting infected by the cavity that has formed and decayed away the tooth all the way to its core. This is a painful experience until you have it treated. Your dentist can give you anaesthetic which will numb the nerve and cause all feeling in the tooth to cease.
So, no, you shouldn’t be concerned with any type of pain during the actual procedure. The dentist is there to remove the pain. Unfortunately, some people decide to live with the pain and don’t get it taken care of soon enough and the tooth might have to be extracted. The procedure of taking care of a root canal is quite interesting.
Of course the first step is to remove the decay and rotting tooth. Teeth rot because of a failure to properly clean them after bathing them in acid and sugar (things like soda and candy). The sugars and acids combine with dried saliva and other bits of food and begin rotting the teeth away. The only hope is to brush and floss like your teeth depend on it. Once you have come into contact with this decay and it has actually started to rot the teeth, your dentist will take an X-Ray of the specific tooth that is suspected and tell you that you have a cavity. If your dentist tells you that they want to “watch” the tooth and not fill it right away, then you have a small cavity that is barely forming. If, on the other hand, they tell you to go ahead and schedule a filling, then your cavity is further along and you can’t reverse the effects of the decay. Generally, when a tooth is being watched, there’s still a chance of “brushing like the wind” and flossing “like it’s your job” to getting rid of the decay and allowing the tooth to rebuild itself.
The second step is to remove the inner root and nerve and all of that stuff inside the teeth that keeps them “alive”. This is the process of restoring your tooth to its normal appearance but between you and the dentist, you now will have a robot tooth. Your bionic tooth isn’t completely man and machine though.
Step three is filling the canal with a tropical tree from Southeast Asia. This tree’s sap is formed into a latex-like product called “Gutta Percha”. This pink filling is inserted into the canals and fills the void that your dentist has so carefully filed to a smooth labyrinth of roots. You are now ready for a post build up and crown.
Wait!!! I wasn’t in this for more than a root canal. How does this work? I have 3 procedures just because of one tooth??!!!
Well, yes, in order for this weakened, battered, sad excuse for a tooth to be usable once again (and it is assumed you WILL be using it…) it must be reinforced with a metallic post which is inserted and then filled with a composite that bonds to the tooth. That takes care of the center of the tooth, but the crown is what holds it all together.
So, it is left to you to decide…
Does a root canal hurt? While it may be a painless procedure, it is one of the LONGEST procedures and it also costs quite a bit of money so it might hurt your patience and your wallet…