Does a Root Canal Hurt

Does a Root Canal Hurt?

“Does a root canal hurt?” It’s a question that often fills people with dread when they’re told they need one. Root canals are considered painful and uncomfortable. But there’s more to the story than just scary tales. While the idea of a root canal might make you envision agonizing pain, the reality is totally different.

In this blog, we’ll dive into what exactly happens during a root canal and give you a better understanding of what to expect. So, if you’re feeling nervous about getting a root canal, don’t worry. We’re here to explore whether it’s really as bad as people say. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various types of teeth straightening treatments, factors affecting treatment duration, and tips for maintaining the results over the long term.

What is a Root Canal?

It is a dental procedure called endodontic treatment, designed to tackle infections in your tooth’s pulp, ultimately saving the tooth and preventing further issues. This process works wonders in preserving your natural tooth, easing any pain you may have, and bringing your teeth back to full health.

When do you require a Root Canal?

If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, extensive decay due to an untreated cavity, or complications arising from a previous filling, you would need a root canal. 

Here are some symptoms that may indicate the need for root canal therapy:

  • Sensitivity in your tooth, especially to hot or cold temperatures
  • Intense pain when biting or chewing
  • Bumps or pimple-like bumps on the gum
  • Darkening of the gums or deep decay
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • A cracked or chipped tooth
  • An abscessed tooth

How much time does a root canal usually take?

On average, a root canal treatment lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. However, it can stretch to 90 minutes or even longer in more complicated cases. Generally, you’ll need to schedule one or two appointments to complete the procedure.

What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?

The root canal treatment depends on the severity and complexity of your infection. However, the overall procedure remains consistent. Let’s take a closer look at the step-by-step process of the treatment:

  • First, the endodontist will take an x-ray of your tooth to assess the infection’s extent and determine if a root canal is necessary. If the infection has spread, they may explore other treatment options.
  • If a root canal is essential, your dentist will numb the affected tooth, gums, and surrounding area with a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
  • Then, the dentist will make an opening in your tooth to access the infected pulp. They’ll carefully remove the infected tissue, including blood vessels, nerves, and bacteria, using specialized tools.
  • Once the infected material is cleared out, the dentist will clean the inside of your tooth’s canals and apply antibiotics to prevent further infection.
  • Finally, your tooth will be filled and sealed to prevent bacteria from getting back in. Your dentist may also prescribe oral antibiotics and pain medication to help manage any discomfort following the root canal.

Do Root Canals Hurt?

You won’t experience any pain during the root canal procedure, thanks to the local anesthesia administered by dentists. Any pain associated with root canal treatments typically stems from the infected tooth before the procedure. The truth is, once the infection is removed, so is the pain. Painful root canals are actually a misconception.

Even if anesthesia isn’t used, you shouldn’t feel any pain during your root canal treatment. At Diamond Dental, our dental professionals prioritize your comfort and always use anesthesia to numb the tooth, ensuring there’s no chance of pain. You might feel a bit of pressure on your tooth during the procedure, but that’s about it.

After the procedure, you may experience mild pain and discomfort for a few days. This is normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. However, if the pain persists beyond a week, it’s essential to visit your dentist for further evaluation.

Is it Possible to Prevent a Root Canal?

Generally, a root canal is advised for severely infected teeth. This procedure boasts a high success rate, with 90 to 95% of patients finding relief from toothaches and enjoying a functional tooth for years to come.

Avoiding a root canal isn’t recommended. If an infected tooth isn’t treated promptly, the infection can spread, leading to the need for tooth extraction. Following extraction, replacing the empty spot becomes a much more complex procedure.


So, “Does a root canal hurt?” is a common concern for many facing dental treatment. While root canals may have a notorious reputation, they’re usually painless nowadays, thanks to advancements in technology and anesthesia. Don’t allow fear to prevent you from seeking necessary treatment. Your oral health is invaluable.

Take Charge of Your Oral Health: Book Your Appointment Now!

Ready to take the first step towards a pain-free smile? Don’t wait any longer to address your dental concerns. Schedule your appointment with Diamond Dental in Bellingham, WA, today and experience compassionate care and top-notch treatment. New patients can call us directly at (360) 516-4610 while existing patients can reach us at (360) 734-1999. Your smile deserves the best – book now!


The toughest part of undergoing a root canal is usually the intense toothache you endure before treatment. Infections and damaged nerves don’t just affect the troubled tooth; they can also cause discomfort in the surrounding gums, tissues, and even the bone.

The idea that root canals are painful often arises from the discomfort caused by the infected or decayed tooth itself rather than the procedure. When a root canal is needed, it’s because a deep infection or severe decay is affecting the health of your natural tooth. This underlying issue is what triggers the intense pain you feel.

With modern anesthesia techniques, most patients feel minimal to no pain during a root canal procedure.

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