Is a Root Canal Painful?

The average person assumes root canals are painful. This is a false assumption from exaggerated stories about root canal discomfort. In reality, the stereotype about root canals is nothing but a bald-faced lie. While there will likely be some discomfort during the root canal procedure, this pain will not prove excessive.

Advancements in dental technology in combination with the use of anesthetics facilitate the procedure, making it safe, fast and nearly pain-free. The minimal discomfort that occurs during and after the treatment is well worth it considering the result. Root canals are actually an effective means of preserving the natural tooth.

The Issue of Potential Pain

Root canal pain that extends for a lengthy period of time is the exception rather than the norm. The vast majority of those who have a root canal procedure performed end up feeling slightly tender or sensitive the days after the treatment. There are numerous reasons for this tenderness.

For one, the tissue surrounding the gums will remain inflamed or swollen in spite of the fact that the nerve root has been removed from the tooth. It is also possible the filling will prove higher than the tooth, forcing the mouth to bite with more force on that position. The result is tooth soreness. There are tiny nerves in tissues and ligaments around the tooth.

If this area is inflamed following a dental procedure, the nerve endings will create some minor discomfort. Furthermore, there is a small chance the dental instrument used to clean the root canal will have damaged the sensitive tissue.

Root Canal Discomfort Rarely Lingers

If you were to poll patients who had a root canal performed, the vast majority would testify the slight discomfort and sensitivity caused by the root canal dissipate in a couple days. If the discomfort does not improve or if the pain proves severe, reach out to the dentist to schedule an evaluation.

Pain Mitigation Strategies

Dentists are well aware of the fact that root canals have the potential to prove painful. The truth is the average patient feels minimal or no pain at all during this procedure. Part of the reason why pain is limited is the fact that the dentist numbs the tooth and area around the tooth prior to the procedure.

Even if you feel pain after the local anesthetic wears off, you can use pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. The dentist can also provide a prescription pain medication just in case your post-procedure pain nags to a degree or extent you did not anticipate. In many cases, the pain will dissipate with little to no issue. So do not worry about the potential discomfort of a root canal.

If you have other questions or believe you may need a root canal, contact us today. We will be happy to go over all the details prior to the procedure and take all the necessary precautions.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Metro Smiles Dental, request an appointment in our Forest Hills dental office here: Or call us at (718) 841-9591.

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