If you’ve been told to schedule root canal therapy with your dentist in Katy, TX, there may be some concerns going through your mind. Indeed, the process is necessary to remove the infected pulp inside your tooth and protect the rest of the tooth from future issues. When your dentist recommends root canal therapy, it’s the most common response to a tooth abscess or localized toothache. A root canal is a standard procedure that dentists and endodontists perform frequently. Consequently, the risk of complications is low. Additionally, dentists take X-rays to confirm their diagnosis about the pulp before proceeding to the root canal therapy. In short, it’s not something that happens by chance. It’s an informed decision and recommendation made by your dentist.
Yet, a lot of people choose to postpone root canal therapy out of fear. Indeed, root canal therapy is often associated with pain. As a result, anxious patients are more likely to refuse or delay treatment for fear of being in pain. The real question you want to ask about root canal therapy is whether the pain is unavoidable. The pain might surprise you:
Pain is a symptom
Contrary to common belief born from dentist phobia, root canal therapy doesn’t create pain. The procedure is designed as a pain-relief treatment. Your dentist removes the injured pulp inside the tooth. The reason why the root canal therapy is wrongly associated with pain is that pain is a SYMPTOM, an indication that you need treatment. Indeed, the pulp is the soft inner part of your tooth and consists of nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels. When the pulp is damaged, the information is immediately passed to your brain via the nerve connections. Additionally, the infection can also affect your gum, causing swelling and making them sore. Therefore, you hurt. But it happens BEFORE the root canal therapy. When the pulp is removed and the infection cleared, the soreness disappears. So, it’s essential to understand that the treatment doesn’t cause pain, but, in fact, stops it.
What creates pain in the root canal therapy?
Initially, the pain that occurs before the root canal therapy is caused by the damaged pulp. Whether it is injured, infected, or inflamed, because this part of the tooth contains nerves, the message of pain that is sent to your brain is intense. If your dentist suggests reducing the swelling in your gums before the procedure, you may be forced to wait a couple of days before the root canal therapy. You can ask for tips to numb the pain while you wait for your appointment. Alternatively, your dentist can also prescribe painkillers and antibiotics to tackle the issue and prepare you for the procedure.
The root canal therapy directly affects your tooth as endodontists have to cut a small opening into the tooth to remove the pulp and clean the area. As a result, you may experience some discomfort during the recovery period. However, you can use your follow-up appointment to discuss pain management.
What are the steps of root canal therapy?
While the procedure provides pain relief, it can lead to some discomfort when the pain medication wears off.
Your dentist needs to cut off a small hole in the top of the tooth to access the root canal inside and remove the pulp tissue. At this stage, your toothache physically comes to an end as the tooth doesn’t have remaining nerve endings to experience pain.
The decontamination phase follows the pulp removal. The dentist cleans the canals inside the tooth, using tiny files and irrigation solutions. Additionally, the area is disinfected to prevent further infection. In theory, as the pulp has been removed, you shouldn’t feel anything. However, more often than not, the area is swollen as a result of the pulp injury. Your gums may be sore and inflamed, which can lead to sensitivity after the cleaning process. Your dentist can, however, recommend painkillers and pain-numbing remedies to help you through the recovery.
Your tooth is healing after the root canal therapy. Your dentist will use temporary filling inside the tooth and seal the hole. However, the area is still fragile; therefore, you will experience pain if you chew on the tooth.
Why does root canal therapy hurt even after your appointment?
As mentioned above, a little soreness is to be expected during the recovery period. After all, even though it is a standard procedure, the root canal therapy is a surgical operation. Your pain threshold level can also dramatically affect your experience of pain. Individuals who have a relatively low pain threshold can discuss the possibility of strong painkillers or narcotic prescriptions during the recovery period. Ultimately, while the body is very good at healing itself, your injured pulp has affected your mouth health. It can take a few days for things to heal completely. However, there are some reasons why the recovery is painful:
- When the root canal therapy wasn’t entirely successful, your dentist may need to schedule a second appointment to remove all the pulp. They will take X-rays to confirm the diagnosis during the follow-up appointment.
- The infected area was too big to be removed in one session, and the dentist had already scheduled multiple appointments to clear the area.
- You are a heavy smoker, which can make your gums more sensitive to pain.
- You have sensitive gums.
- You have caught another infection.
- The infection had already spread to the gum or the surrounding teeth.
- Your brain has a memory of the pain. It will need a few days to adjust.
What are the costs of Root Canal Therapy in Katy, TX?
The average cost of a root canal in Katy, TX is $900. Prices may vary based on the treating dentist, and which tooth you are needing the root canal on. Molars typically tend to be more expensive. Below is a chart on prices for root canals in Katy
Root Canal Therapy Cost in Katy, TX
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There is nothing to fear about the root canal treatment. The procedure relieves pain and helps save your tooth. When it comes to preventive measures, taking good care of your teeth and leading a healthy lifestyle can give you the best chances to avoid a root canal. However, if your dentist has already suggested root canal therapy, you shouldn’t delay or refuse treatment. The infection could spread to the gum and affect your jawbones, your surrounding teeth, and even go into your blood.