Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?
“Root canal” is probably one of the most feared, but also one of the most misunderstood, dental terms. Root canal therapy is how a root canal infection is treated. A root canal infection develops when bacteria gets into a tooth’s inner nerves and tissues, or within the roots system. During root canal therapy infected tissues are removed, the roots of the tooth are cleaned, and tooth structure is restored.
Although root canal therapy is proven to be safe and effective, patients often worry, “does root canal therapy hurt?” Here, dentists from 38th Street Dental, in Austin, TX, discuss the pain associated with root canal infection, as well as any potential discomfort that may be related to root canal treatment.
Are Root Canal Infections Painful?
Most people are fearful of root canal treatment because they have heard stories about root canal pain. However, this is often a matter of miscommunication. People commonly use the term “root canal” when referring to both root canal infection and root canal treatment, but they are two very different things. In terms of root canal pain, it is the root canal infection itself that can cause significant discomfort for our Austin patients.
Root canal infection causes the sensitive nerves and tissues that make up the pulp of the tooth to become inflamed. Inflammation may lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Persistent pain
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Swollen, sensitive, and/or bleeding gums
- Swollen glands or facial pain
- Development of pus-filled abscesses
Will I Feel Pain During Root Canal Treatment?
Although root canal therapy has a reputation for being a complicated and painful dental procedure, that is not the case. Root canal treatment involves several steps, each of which is necessary to eliminate infection and restore oral health and functions. Root canal treatment is never performed without the tooth and surrounding tissues being properly numbed with anesthetic. Because patients are given anesthesia, root canal therapy should not cause any pain, nor should it feel any different than any other restorative dentistry treatment, like a dental filling.
Potential Discomfort After Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment should not cause any pain for our Austin patients, but they may experience mild discomfort while they recover from their procedure. The treated tooth and surrounding tissues may be slightly sore or sensitive once anesthesia has worn off. Any discomfort should be pretty mild, and should last no more than a few days. While most people find the discomfort easy to manage, over-the-counter pain medication can be used as needed to enhance comfort.
Once a patient has fully recovered from root canal treatment, they should not experience any lingering pain. In fact, most people are pleasantly surprised by how quickly and effectively root canal therapy restores the tooth and eliminates the painful symptoms associated with root canal infection.
Get in Touch
If you are experiencing oral pain associated with a root canal infection, the dentists at 38th Street Dental would be happy to answer any questions you may have about root canal treatment. To schedule an appointment with our dental team, send us a message online, or call (512) 458-6222 at your earliest convenience.