Does a root canal hurt?

Does a root canal hurt? 

If you are experiencing pain in your teeth, you may need a root canal. This is a standard dental procedure that helps preserve the health of your teeth. Most patients will report little to no pain during and after the procedure, while others find the experience somewhat painful. However, with advances in modern dentistry, the process is much less painful than it used to be.

What is a root canal?

You may have heard of a root canal and wondered what it is. A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissue from inside the tooth, cleaning, and sealing the tooth. Dentists or endodontists (root canal specialists) usually perform root canals. They are one of the most common dental procedures performed every year.

With modern techniques and anesthesia, having a root canal is usually no more painful than having a filling placed in your tooth. After a successful root canal treatment, your tooth will be restored to its normal function and appearance for many years to come. It is crucial not to let your tooth pain go untreated because the infection can spread to other teeth and surrounding nerves.

The Root Canal Procedure

To begin the root canal process, your dentist will first take an x-ray of the diseased tooth in question better to understand the extent of the infection or decay and determine if a root canal is necessary.

Your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area and start the actual treatment. Next, they will create an opening in the tooth to access the infected tissue and remove the infected pulp. Once the infection is removed, they will fill and seal the tooth’s root canals with a biocompatible material. Once the tooth and area around it have healed, a dental crown will be placed over the tooth to shield it from further damage.

Most people report little to no root canal pain after treatment. However, you may have some discomfort or sensitivity in the days following the procedure. This is normal and should subside within a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of the treated tooth until your dentist has placed a dental crown over it.

Who needs root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is a standard dental treatment that helps preserve your oral health and save your natural tooth. Root canal procedures involve removing the infected nerves and blood vessels from the infected tooth, then filling and sealing them with a biocompatible material. A root canal treatment is typically performed when tooth decay or infection reaches the innermost parts of the tooth, causing pain and inflammation.

Symptoms of a Tooth Needing a Root Canal

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you will likely need a root canal:

  • Severe tooth pain
  • Sharp or severe pain in the mouth and gums
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • Chipped or cracked tooth

Do not put off treatment until the problem gets worse; if your tooth hurts and you think you might require a root canal treatment, see your dentist as soon as possible. They will determine whether or not a root canal is necessary and provide you with treatment if needed.

Do root canals hurt?

It is natural to be apprehensive about undergoing a root canal. The thought of someone drilling into your tooth can understandably make you anxious. But do root canals hurt? The answer is yes and no. Endodontic treatment can be uncomfortable, but it is mostly a pain-free experience.

With the help of a skilled dentist and local anesthesia, you can get through the process with little to no discomfort. So no need to worry—a root canal will not hurt as much as you think it will.

Tips for Healing Post Root Canal

If you have just had a root canal performed, you have likely just eliminated the source of pain from your tooth. However, you can still do a few things to ensure that the healing process goes as smoothly as possible. 

Here are a few tips for a speedy root canal recovery and making the healing process more manageable.

Eat and Drink

We recommend that patients avoid chewing on the treated tooth until your dentist has placed a dental crown over it. You should also avoid eating any sticky or crunchy foods that could damage or irritate the area around the treated tooth. Drinking hot or cold beverages should be discontinued until the discomfort in your mouth subsides. Extreme temperatures can irritate the mouth and the area around the tooth.


Take over-the-counter medication as needed to manage your pain and discomfort after a root canal procedure. Prescription medications should also be taken as directed by your doctor to reduce the risk of further infection and to manage pain.

Rinse Your Mouth Frequently

After endodontic treatment, the area around the treated tooth is more susceptible to remission. You should rinse your mouth with lukewarm saltwater several times a day to keep the mouth clean, reduce inflammation, and speed up healing.

Take It Easy

Following treatment, you should take it easy and give yourself plenty of time to heal. It would be best to avoid any strenuous exercise or work for at least 48 hours. It can take up to two weeks for the inflammation and swelling to go down, so take some time and relax.

Contact Us for Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment is a standard dental procedure that many people undergo to save their natural teeth. If you are experiencing any sharp pain in your teeth and think you may need root canal therapy, contact our dental office today for an evaluation. We can discuss your symptoms and help you determine if this is the best treatment for you.

Sometimes, your dental insurance will cover the cost of a root canal. We’re happy to discuss payment and financing options to make sure you get the care you need. Our team of experienced dentists will work hard to make sure you receive the highest quality care possible.

If you are looking for a local dentist office to perform your root canal, give our team a call today at 301-464-2323.