Anonymous asked in HealthDental · 1 decade ago

what's a root canal, does it hurt?

what condition does your teeth have to be in to get root canals, what do root canals do, and do they hurt?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A root canal treatment is "basically" the act of taking out the contents from the center of the root, all the way to the tippy end, and then sealing the hollow space with a filling material. Many people say that they "had the root removed" from a tooth, but root canal treatment treats the CANAL in the center of the tooth.

    Usually, it is required when the tissue inside the center of the tooth (ie: in the root canal) is diseased or dead. This is usually the result of an infection caused by tooth decay that has gone "all the way to the nerve." The idea here is to eliminate the infection by removing the tissue. The next goal is to smooth out the inside of the canal(s) so that a filling material can pass freely to the end of the tooth to seal it off. Once it is sealed off, it is no longer a source of infection to your body. Your natural immune system will continue to fight off any infection that may have entered the bone and eventually your body will heal. Some people need antibiotics to help in this fight, but they are not always necessary.

    Any pain after the procedure is NOT from inside the tooth. It is from the swelling and infection in the bone at the end of the tooth. Taking the nerve out (or what remains of the nerve) is just done so that we can seal the end of the tooth so that the body can heal the damage in the bone. This takes a while. Root canal treatment is not a magic wand that instantly makes you feel better. It is just the first step in what will then allow your body to heal. The healing can take a while, especially if you had a good sized abscess on the tooth.

    In back teeth, it is generally recommended to have a crown placed over the tooth to protect it from breaking, as teeth that have had root canal treatment tend to dry out somewhat and become more brittle and susceptible to breaking. Front teeth are often strong enough to go without a crown, but sometimes they need a crown, too.

    Yeah, it can hurt, maybe 1 out of 10 times. That 1 guy where it hurts probably waited until the tooth was already really killing him before he went for treatment. I tell my patients that root canal treatments are like teenagers. 9 out of 10 are no problem at all, but you always hear about the bad ones.

    Go here and click on the link about root canal treatment:

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  • 1 decade ago

    Root canal therapy (endodontics) treats disorders of the nerve (pulp) of the tooth. It used to be that a tooth with a diseased or infected nerve had to be removed. In 95 percent of these cases today, however this is no longer true. We believe in saving teeth (instead of removing them) and we will make every effort to save yours!

    Why Do I Need A Root Canal?

    Trauma – a physical blow to a tooth or a constant striking of a tooth in the opposite jaw that traumatizes the tooth.

    Physical irritation – deep decay or a very large filling.

    Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes irritated and an abscess (infection) occurs. Bacteria from your saliva grow within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and pain. In some cases the face may swell. Eventually the pulp dies, causing the bone around the tooth to be destroyed.::

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  • 1 decade ago

    The way your teeth are anchored to your jawbone is similar to how plants and trees are anchored to the ground - they have "roots". In the case of your teeth, the "roots" are just the spike-shaped ends of a tooth that are embedded in your jawbone. Those roots have nerves inside them, which connect to other nerves in your mouth. That's why you get a toothache when you have a cavity - because you actually have nerves inside your teeth.

    In a root canal, they completely drill out the inside of your tooth, then they pull out the nerves that run down inside the roots of the tooth. If they didn't do that, you'd end up with exposed nerve ends inside your hollowed out tooth, and it would be extremely painful.

    Usually after a root canal, they put little metal spikes down through the roots of your tooth, where the nerves used to be. These metal spikes are then used to anchor a crown onto the top of the tooth. A crown is just a fake tooth top made from metal and covered with porcelain.

    Root canals can be painful, but unless they fail to give you enough Novocaine, it shouldn't hurt all that much more than a regular cavity drilling. I've had a root canal, and I don't remember it being really painful. However, because it takes a long time and they have to do a lot of stuff in there, it's really uncomfortable. Especially if it's one of your back molars, because then you have to keep your mouth open really wide for long periods of time, and they have a lot more tools and stuff in there than they would for a normal cavity drilling.

    Why would you need a root canal? Well, I'm not a dentist and I don't know all the situations that might require a root canal, but I know that if you have a cavity that penetrates too far into your tooth, and it gets into the pulp (the very inside) of your tooth, then usually the tooth is too far gone to just do a regular filling. In my case, my previous dentist screwed up when he was doing a regular filling, and he didn't get all of the decay out before he filled in the cavity. The decay that remained festered in there for 3 years until finally my tooth had been completely hollowed out by the decay. That's why it's important to have regular checkups. I was lucky, it could have gotten into my jawbone and caused an abscess, which would have been way worse. So instead of oral surgery, I got off easy and only had to have a root canal.

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  • Rabbit
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    If the cavity has broken through to the roots and/or there is infection the Dentist may do a root canal. Basically, the tooth is ground down (to acceot a crown) and the nerves are removed from the tooth. With modern anesthesia, there isn't as much pain as there used to be. By the time I needed the root canal - that pain was so bad, the procedure was a piece of cake!

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  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    what's a root canal, does it hurt?

    what condition does your teeth have to be in to get root canals, what do root canals do, and do they hurt?

    Source(s): 39 root canal hurt:
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  • 1 decade ago

    A root canal is where the dentist drills open the tooth and extracts the nerves from the roots of the tooth. No, the procedure does not really hurt, and by the time you get to a dentist for it the pain of the abscess tooth is much more painful than the procedure the dentist does anyway!!

    Source(s): personal expperience
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  • 1 decade ago

    it is when a cavity gets so deep in side of your tooth that it hurts!! and when you get it fixed they take out all of the nerves and fill it up!! and no it doesnt hurt at all because they numm your mouth!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Oh yeah it hurts like a beach! No joke.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    they drill through the top of the tooth and remove 1/3 of the roots of a tooth, which kills it. the other 2/3 are left to die and they produce bacteria and eat away the jawbone over time, plus cause many diseases. it is keeping a dead tooth in the mouth.

    Hal Huggins answers the most commonly asked questions about root canals:

    Why should I not have a ROOT CANAL done?

    Root canals are recommended when a tooth has been fractured, or when decay has entered the nerve chamber and created much pain. Often the body calcifies the tooth membranes, and allows it to remain. Unusual as it sounds, the body does not like dead structures in it, and a healthy body will try to reject it. Pain requiring antibiotics and pain pills are frequently used until the immune system stops working in that area. Root canals produce toxins that can increase or create many autoimmune diseases.

    Is laser treatment for cleaning of root canals and cavitations considered a safe treatment?

    In both root canal sockets and cavitation linings, the big concern is the anaerobic bacteria. These are ones that live in the absence of oxygen. Botulism and gangrene are examples of anaerobic bacterial action. Bad bugs. If laser can kill all the bacteria, who is going to remove the dead bacteria, or the dead bone lining the sockets? There is no blood supply here. Laser only kills, does not clean debris. Other techniques are required to leave a clean area that can fill in with bone and new blood vessels.


    There is no way to disinfect a root canal. No matter how clean the area is or how free of bacteria, there are always bacteria in the tubules and they will grow. And, the more antibiotics taken or applied, the more antibiotic resistant, and stronger, they will become.

    Root canals are the most toxic most damaging procedure dentists can do. You have two options: a root canal or an extraction. Dentists usually fill root canals with gutta percha. Some use the Sargenti method, a popular treatment used by 25% of dentists, but denounced by the American Dental Association because it contains formaldehyde compounds. There have been a lot of problems with those. They used to contain lead. The current formulas are said to have removed the lead, but millions of root canal treatments using the old formulas are still in people's mouths. Gutta percha is 15% barium so that it will show up in the X-ray. Gutta percha shrinks and leaves gaps and the tooth can never be sterile. There is no such thing as a sterile root canal. During a root canal, the main canal is filled and possibly some of the small side canals, but the other smaller canal-like structures in teeth called dentinal tubules are too tiny to be filled during treatment and these tubules become home to bacteria instead. Since there are millions of these tubules there is room for enough bacteria to challenge the immune system. The waste products from these nasty germs include some very toxic substances called thio-ethers, and your body has to deal with these toxins 24 hours a day. They contaminate the bone around the tooth and they are picked up by the immune system and carried to the liver for detoxification. Unfortunately, the liver can be seriously damaged by them. Weston Price conducted research on root canals and wrote two books about how toxic they can be. So you have to make up your mind what is more important to you. I believe no tooth is worth destroying my immune system. by Jerome, Frank, D.D.S. (812) 376-8525, Columbus Indiana, Author of "Tooth Truth"


    Dr. Joseph Mercola

    1443 W. Schaumburg Rd.

    Schaumburg, IL 60194-4065

    phone 847-985-1777

    MJ You're assuming that ALL root-filled teeth harbor bacteria and/or other infective agents?

    GM Yes. No matter what material or technique is used - and this is just as true today - the root filling shrinks minutely, perhaps microscopically. Further and this is key - the bulk of solid appearing teeth, called the dentin, actually consists of miles of tiny tubules. Microscopic organisms lurking in the maze of tubules simply migrate into the interior of the tooth and set up housekeeping. A filled root seems to be a favorite spot to start a new colony.

    One of the things that makes this difficult to understand is that large, relatively harmless bacteria common to the mouth, change and adapt to new conditions. They shrink in size to fit the cramped quarters and even learn how to exist (and thrive!) on very little food. Those that need oxygen mutate and become able to get along without it. In the process of adaptation these formerly friendly "normal" organisms become pathogenic (capable of producing disease) and more virulent (stronger) and they produce much more potent toxins.

    Today's bacteriologists are confirming the discoveries of the Price team of bacteriologists. Both isolated in root canals the same strains of streptococcus, staphylococcus and spirochetes.

    MJ Is everyone who has ever had a root canal filled made ill by it?

    GM No. We believe now that every root canal filling does leak and bacteria do invade the structure. But the variable factor is the strength of the person's immune system. Some healthy people are able to control the germs that escape from their teeth into other areas of the body. We think this happens because their immune system lymphocytes (white blood cells) and other disease fighters aren't constantly compromised by other ailments. In other words, they are able to prevent those new colonies from taking hold in other tissues throughout the body. But over time, most people with root filled teeth do seem to develop some kinds of systemic symptoms they didn't have before.

    MJ It's really difficult to grasp that bacteria are imbedded deep in the structure of seemingly-hard, solid looking teeth.

    GM I know. Physicians and dentists have that same problem, too. You really have to visualize the tooth structure - all of those microscopic tubules running through the dentin. In a healthy tooth, those tubules transport a fluid that carries nourishment to the inside. For perspective, if the tubules of a front single-root tooth, were stretched out on the ground they'd stretch for three miles!

    A root filled tooth no longer has any fluid circulating through it, but the maze of tubules remains. The anaerobic bacteria that live there seem remarkably safe from antibiotics. The bacteria can migrate out into surrounding tissue where they can "hitch hike" to other locations in the body via the bloodstream. The new location can be any organ or gland or tissue, and the new colony will be the next focus of infection in a body plagued by recurrent or chronic infections.

    All of the "building up" done to try to enhance the patient's ability to fight infections - to strengthen their immune system - is only a holding action. Many patients won't be well until the source of infection - the root canal tooth - is removed


    In 2001, Dr. Mark Breiner, of Connecticut, author of Whole Body Dentistry:Discover the Missing Piece to Better Health, was disciplined and fined $5,000 in December 2001 for advising patients that their mercury fillings and root canals could be contributing to their health problems. His disciplinary actions were categorized under fraud/deceit/incompetence/negligence in his consent order. Now tell me who is practicing fraud? A dentist who tells his patients that the fillings are not just silver, but mostly mercury, or the American Dental Association and the Connecticut Department of Public Health who doesn't want the public to know about the harmful effects of mercury fillings?

    In his consent order the DPH also told him you "shall not remove teeth that have undergone root canal treatment that cannot be corrected by treatment of the root canal itself, retrograde filling or surgical apioectomy, or in which the root canal is fractured, without first providing the patient with the names and telephone numbers of two medical professionals approved by the Department with whom the patient may consult as to the traditional medical position on the planned treatment."

    So if a root canal was causing health problems in a patient, Dr. Breiner was not to remove it, but to put in a retrograde filling. That means he was to put mercury down under the gumline and surgical apioectomy means he was to put mercury down in the root of the tooth, after cutting into the gums down at the root. Can you imagine mercury, not just on top of your teeth, but also down in the meat of your gums, down at the tip of your roots where it is in contact with your flesh?

    Manufacturers of amalgam fillings warn against the placement of retrograde fillings. But that is what dentists do to "save" a root canal. We have testimonies at DAMS of severe poisoning by mercury used in a surgical apioectomy.

    Dr. Breiner got in trouble again with the Connecticut Department of Public Health when he wrote an editorial to the Connecticut Post newspaper warning against mercury fillings when there was a mercury spill in a local high school. According to a press release from Consumers for Dental Choice.

    Dr Hal Huggins, D.D.S. in a lecture to the Cancer Control Society 1993:

    Then we get into the root canal business, and that is the most tragic of all.

    Isn't there something you can put in the centre of the canal that is safe?

    Yeah, there probably is, but that is not where the problem is. The problem with a root canal is that it is dead. Lets equate that. Lets say you have got a ruptured appendix, so you go to the phone book, and who do you look up? Lets see, we have a surgeon and a taxidermist, who do you call? You going to get it bronzed?

    That is all we do to a dead tooth. We put a gold crown on it, looks like it has been bronzed. It doesn't really matter what you embalm the dead tooth with, it is still dead, and within that dead tooth we have bacteria, and these bacteria are in the absence of oxygen. In the absence of oxygen most things die except bacteria. They undergo something called a pleomorphic a mutation. they learn to live in the absence of oxygen…now produce thioethers, some of the strongest poisons on the planet that are not radioactive.

    These get out into the body and you may notice in the medical literature of 1900 they mentioned a few heart attacks, so it wasn’t a big deal in 1900, but by 1910 2% of the US population, which is a lot of folks had had heart attacks. By 1920---10% of the population had had heart attacks, and we are up to about 25% about 10 years ago, and everywhere you go you see joggers running around. Menus in the restaurant have this little heart over it because we are on low cholesterol diets …….so what has it done. It has dropped the 25% down to around 43% . We are going in the wrong direction and root canals are going up. In 1990 we did 17 million of them. This last year we did 23 million, and the ADA hopes by the year 2000 we reach 30 million a year.

    Weston Price knew this back in 1920 - he would take a person who had had a heart attack, take out the tooth with the root canal, take a little segment of it, put it under the skin of a rabbit.

    We have done this with guinea pigs, and in about 10 days that rabbit would die of a heart attack. And you could take it out and put it under the skin of another rabbit, and in 10 days he would die of a heart attack……he would do this to 30 rabbits and every one of them in 97% of the cases would die of heart disease. What if they didn’t have heart disease? If they had something else, the rabbit picks up the something else, but all of them that we have tested in this way have ended up with an auto immune disease in the kidney, and if you look at the work of Joseph Issels in Germany who for 40 years treated terminal cancer cases. He started on them when they had already had their chemo, surgery, radiation, then they came to him. That is having 3 strikes against you and a fast ball down the tube there before you get up to the plate. He turned around 24% of 16,000 patients over a period of 40 years. What is the first thing he did? Have a dentist take out the root canal teeth.

    ...I have this shirt tail relative down there [Texas] about 24 years old, and she has brain cancer, so what do they do? They take out half her brain. Then it comes back so they take out the other half of her brain. Then it comes back a third time, and there is not much left to take out. Now they probably didn’t take out half, I may have stretched the point there a bit, but she was still fully functional, but it was right smack full in the middle of the brain. Three tumors growing, three root canals, and she is pregnant, and it is hard to overcome the stress to the body that pregnancy does, much less trying to overcome cancer, much less trying to overcome the root canals.

    So we took out those 3 root canals when she had 3-6 months to live. And that was 6 years ago, and she is still alive today, and MRI can't find the tumor anymore. It went away.

    So there are a lot of things, and this is just a tip of this giant chunk of ice under the water that has been making us think we are normal when we have all of these things going on in our body that we caught at the dental is time you were informed.

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