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Root canal treatment has a terrible, scary reputation and often makes our patients very nervous. But are root canals really that bad? It’s time to set the record straight and lay out the root canal facts.

Fact 1
Root canal treatment is not painful
A root canal is performed to relieve pain caused by an infection, dying and or inflamed nerve.  If an infection is present we need to treat this first. The infection can sometimes cause complications with local anaesthetic as it can cause a barrier that prevents it from working. Once the infection has cleared and with modern anesthesia you can expect your tooth to be completely numb throughout your treatment. The pain is not more than doing a routine filling.

Fact 2
A root canal is not the most expensive treatment
A root canal is considered to be pricey and it can be more expensive than a simple extraction. But, it’s a good investment into saving an otherwise dead tooth that will continue to cause you pain. Root treating your tooth will prevent you from needing to replace a missing tooth (if you otherwise chose to take it out). Tooth replacements such as bridges, denture and dental implants are much more expensive treatments.

Fact 3
Root canals are successful
A root canal that is done well with an appropriate filling or crown has a very high success rate. In over 85% of the cases, treatments can last a long time. A root canal cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth to allow it to heal.

Fact 4
Your tooth will be sensitive afterwards
Root canal treatment, by its nature, is a little invasive and the treatment can take some time so it is normal for your tooth to feel a bit bruised, sore and achy but it shouldn’t be painful.

Sometimes, because you’re numb when it’s placed, your temporary filling can be a bit high – which can cause pain when you bite down.  If your tooth is anything but a bit sore, you should contact your dentist and have to tooth reassessed.

Fact 5
Root canal treatment can be quick
A root canal treatment may not always be lengthy and require several appointments. It can be completed in a couple of sittings in many cases. Sometimes, depending on your symptoms, what caused your tooth to die and how your tooth appears clinically; it may be required to clean your tooth at one appointment and fill it at the next – leaving a sedative dressing in place in between. But If you;ve caught it early and your tooth is in a good condition it is possible for it to be cleaned and filled in just one appointment.

A root canal is not as dreadful as it seems.

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