Are Root Canals Painful?

A root canal removes infected dental pulp within teeth. This treatment cleans, disinfects, and seals teeth to preserve the tooth. Many patients think that root canals are painful. However, root canals actually remove the source of pain for many dental patients. Infected nerves, cells, and blood vessels within the tooth, also known as the dental pulp, can cause extreme pain for many patients. Root canal treatments ultimately relieve this pain and ensure that patients do not need dental extractions. We offer comfortable root canal treatment for patients in Chapel Hill, NC. Our dentists are dedicated to helping patients get the care they need without dental fear or anxiety.

Root Canal in Chapel Hill, NC

Signs of Dental Infections

If you are unsure if you need a root canal, look for these common symptoms of tooth decay:

  • Persistent toothaches and dental pain
  • Grey, brown, or black spots on teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Holes or pits in teeth
  • Swelling in the jaw

Contact our office if you notice any changes in your oral health. If patients are in the early stages of infection, we can provide preventative cleaning to avoid root canal treatment or extractions. However, if we do need to perform a root canal or extraction, we make our patients feel relaxed during treatment.

Comfortable Root Canals

We always use local anesthesia and dental sedation to ensure that patients feel comfortable during their treatment. A local anesthetic numbs the tooth and surrounding area. For patients with dental anxiety, a severe gag reflex, dementia, or special needs, we recommend nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a type of dental sedation that we combine with oxygen. Under nitrous oxide, patients may feel happy, giggly, and relaxed. Nitrous oxide allows patients to receive care without any pain or discomfort.

Root Canal Treatment in Chapel Hill, NC

Before treatment, we take digital x-rays to see which teeth are affected. X-rays allow us to view the inside of teeth and plan treatment according to patients’ specific needs. Once we numb the tooth, we make a small opening in the tooth to remove the infected dental pulp. Then, we clean and disinfect the tooth chamber. Finally, we seal the tooth with a dental filling to prevent reinfection. Sometimes, we will create dental crowns for patients with worn or weakened teeth. Dental crowns are caps that fully cover teeth. They prevent damage to natural teeth and create a more balanced bite.

After root canal treatment, patients should refrain from eating and drinking for 30 minutes after their procedure. Taking pain medications as prescribed can help the healing process. To minimize swelling, patients can apply a cold compress to the outside of their cheek.

We also recommend that patients schedule routine dental appointments so we can keep track of their oral health and prevent future oral health problems.

Are you experiencing symptoms of tooth decay? Do you need a root canal? Call Dr. Jim Furgurson for high-quality, comfortable care at 919.736.6175. You may also schedule a dental appointment at Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry on our website.