What To Expect From Root Canal Treatment?


We all have suffered from toothache at some point in time for several reasons. One such reason is tooth decay. A few weeks ago a patient came to me with the same complaint. One of her molar teeth on the left side of her lower jaw had an infection. The pain was so severe that even after consuming some OTC pain killer, she finally had to come and visit us at My Smile Dental clinic.

She is a working professional and a mother of two, so her daily life is very busy and chaotic. After diagnosing her, I suggested she should go for root canal treatment. Hearing this, she looked worried and panicked at the same time. She had a few doubts, so I took the time to explain.

She said, “I thought you would extract the decayed tooth and get me rid of this pain, but you are suggesting to me some complicated procedure, why?” To answer this, I first had to tell her that the root canal procedure is not complicated and is the best option for her. I informed her that root canal treatment is a pain relief treatment and is painless. Her natural tooth will be saved, and she will not have to extract her infected tooth. This will help her adjacent teeth remain in position as the root is intact. With tooth extraction, the root becomes loose, and thus the adjacent teeth start moving.

Her immediate concern after this was time. She explained how busy her daily life is. Along with her office work, she also had to look after her kids and do household chores. The weekend is the only time she gets to relax and spend quality time with her kids and family.

So, her question was “I don’t have time for this treatment, how can I get relief from my pain then?” To this, I explained to her that she need to invest 1-1.5 hours after the office and get her treatment done in a maximum of 2-3 sittings. She doesn’t need to take a break from her daily chores. I also explained that we can go for single-sitting root canal treatment if she has an acute infection. In the single-sitting root canal, she only needs to visit once.

After getting an X-ray, we can get clarification on the infection type and decide on the procedure. Before she would have asked about the pain and suffering associated with the treatment, I told her that the whole procedure will be conducted under the effect of local anesthesia. The anesthesia wears off after 2 hours, and she is good to resume her daily work. I also told her to grab some ice cream on the way home for herself and the family. The ice cream will provide a soothing effect on the treated tooth.

Hearing all these, she only had one final question for me: “Can we start the procedure now?”