You have probably heard that a root canal treatment is one of the most painful dental procedures. This may be true, but the good news is that your dentist has several measures up his or her sleeve to help you deal with the pain. These measures may include medication and non-medication treatments. When it comes to the use of drugs, two of the most common ones used in these situations include
One of the sources of root canal pain is the inevitable inflammation of bruised tissues. Corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory medicines, are used to control this swelling and reduce the associated pain. Available in different brand names, these are prescription drugs that you should never take without your dentist's or doctor's advice. If you want an over-the-counter dental pain drug, then you have to bypass the corticosteroids.
These drugs are very effective in pain management, but they also have associated side effects. In the short run, you may experience elevated blood pressure, pressure in the eyes, and weight gain. In the long run, you risk developing eye cataracts, reduced bone density, and high blood sugar. These are serious risks, which is why you should never deviate from your dentist's instructions concerning corticosteroids use.
While your dentist may prescribe corticosteroids for your use at home, he or she is likely to restrict the use of anesthetics in his or her office (although there are over-the-counter varieties). Therefore, this is the pain management drug you will use while undergoing the root canal treatment. There are two forms of anesthetics:
- Local – injected deep into the tissues of your mouth. They are very strong, and work by numbing the nerves that sense pain in your mouth.
- General – you inhale these to help you relax, but they are not as strong as local anesthetics. For this reason, they may be used in combination with their local counterparts.
Anesthetics also have some undesirable effects. The most common side effect is nausea and vomiting, but you may also experience a temporary case of sore throat. According to WebMD, serious side effects, which are very rare include pneumonia, heart attack, and muscle damage. All these risks considerably reduce if you follow all the instructions as given by your experienced dentist.
The main thing here is to be completely candid with your endodontist about your medical history. If you do that, and also follow his or her instructions to the latter, then you have nothing to worry about as far as your root canal pain is concerned.