Modern Root Canal Practices
Root canals have had a bad reputation in the past and there is still a residual for this.
These procedures are so much better understood now and are so much better handled than in the bad old days. Now it is a very common procedure usually with very little pain afterwards. After treatment there is often no residual pain but sometimes they may be tender to bite on for a few days as the microscopic nerve that entered the end of the root has been severed and may have some residual inflammation. This is usually managed with Advil or at worst with Dexamethasone. The dangerous ones are those that have had bacteria living in the canal(s) for a period and the body has developed a space in the bone around the end of the root(s) that is full of white blood cells to combat the bacteria and other junk they are releasing out the end of the root(s). These ones have more potential for flaring up after the dentist has cleaned out the canal(s) in the root(s). If the person is run down or the bacteria are particularly strong the bacteria may begin to seriously grow causing pain and swelling. Usually this can be remedied with antibiotics but if the bacteria are particularly virulent an incision may have to be made into the area and that area at the end of the root(s) would be cleaned out manually and sutures placed.