Is a Root Canal Painful?

We’re setting the facts straight!

How much do you know about root canal treatment?

Alternatively known as “endodontic therapy”, this common dental procedure is performed to treat tooth roots that are infected or diseased, to ultimately save the tooth from requiring extraction.

Fortunately, root canal treatments have a very high success rate - and have been safely performed by endodontists and dentists in Thornhill and beyond for years and years!

When is a root canal required?

Endodontic therapy is often needed as a result of decay or a cavity that extends to the root, or can be a result of an extensive crack or fracture in the tooth due to injury, having had repeated procedures performed on the tooth, or decay, as well.

Is there pain during a root canal procedure?

The procedure itself should not be painful at all, as a local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area being treated - in addition to a possible moderate form of sedation administered to relax the patient during their visit.

So now you may be wondering, “Will there be pain after a root canal?” Good question! Following the procedure it is normal to experience some short-term pain or discomfort, typically lasting for a few days - but usually no longer than this.

Managing pain following treatment

It is recommended for the patient to avoid chewing hard or crunchy foods following their endodontic procedure, at least until pain improves - as this can result in even more pain as the tooth recovers. It is also important to practice proper oral hygiene care to ensure the newly treated tooth stays clean of bacteria, and to also help prevent any potential additional pain. An over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol, Advil or Motrin IB is often enough to provide effective relief and manage discomfort for the time being.

If a patient does experience pain or continued swelling beyond a few days, they should tell their dentist or endodontist. They may need to come in for another visit to see if any additional steps are needed, such as further cleansing of the canals.

If you can save your tooth with root canal therapy, do it!

If you’re a candidate for endodontic therapy, going through with the procedure with an experienced professional is the recommended course of action (especially vs. having the tooth pulled). In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontists, people are six times more likely to be pain-free due to choosing a root canal compared to people who choose not to have the procedure!

At the end of the day, not all dental damage that requires a root canal can be prevented. Your best bet against requiring such a procedure in the future is to practice proper oral hygiene habits every day, and take any other preventive measures you can (for example, wearing a night guard if you suffer from bruxism/teeth grinding, and wearing a sport guard when enduring in any competitive physical activity that could result in injury).

Stay safe out there - and if a root canal is ever in your future, our Thornhill dentist and team will be here to help!