False: A root canal treatment is not painful. On the contrary, it is used for relieving the pain due to irritation of the nerves in the dental pulp chamber, and the pain due to infection of the teeth. In the past it used to be painful but now with the newer anesthetic drugs, the procedure has become easy and pain-free.
Anaesthesia is not very effective when there is severe infection of the teeth, in such cases root canal treatment is postponed and antibiotics are prescribed. The procedure is performed when the infection subsides. Sometimes the dentist refers complicated cases to an endodontist, who is a root canal treatment specialist.
True: The treatment could be a costly bargain but it is a must-done procedure to prevent tooth loss. The saved tooth can perform the normal functions of chewing or grinding the food. It is also worthwhile to note that root canal treatment is less expensive than the extraction of tooth followed by a dental bridge or a dental implant.
False: After the procedure of root canal treatment, there is considerable reduction in pain and discomfort. To control and relieve the pain and sensitivity, pain-relieving medications are advised for a few days until the pain reduces. Mild pain continues for a few weeks, especially during the process of chewing. This pain gradually disappears completely.
False: Root canal treatment when performed properly with filling or crown placement has a very high rate of success. The treated tooth can last a lifetime in a large number of cases. Some treated teeth may get infected after a long time. These may undergo retreatment. When there is a fracture in the dental root and there is a lot of damage and destruction of bone in the deeper structures, extraction of the tooth is the only option.
False: It is not normal to have continuous and constant pain a few weeks after the root canal treatment. The pain could be due to infected canals, which were not cleaned prior to the procedure or because of a fracture and fragmentation of the dental root.
When there is persistent discomfort and pain, the case may be referred to a root canal treatment specialist (an endodontist) who can provide further treatment. But, teeth with fractured root cannot be saved and require extraction.