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A 34-year-old member asked:

will a root canal hurt?

13 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Koos
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 21 years experience
Proper Local: Anesthesia will prevent the procedure form causing any pain and you will be given appropriate analgesic pain medication afterwards as well to manage any discomfort.
Dr. Sandra Eleczko
Dentistry 36 years experience
Not much: Frequently there is more pain leading up to the root canal because of the abscessed tooth and the pain of the infection. For many patients once the tooth is opened and the pressure released there is much less pain. The endodontist will give appropriate pain medication and sometimes an antibiotic is needed. There is a lot of fear associated with root canals but they are not as bad as the stories.
Dr. Randolph Todd
Endodontics 44 years experience
No: Dental anesthesia can be very effective to eliminate treatment pain. There are rare instances that block the effectiveness of the anesthetic and treatment should be stopped. There is no benefit to causing pain for either the patient or the doctor. If you are uncomfortable during treatment ask your doctor to stop and add more anesthetic! don't be brave, there is no reward.
Dr. Jason Alliger
Endodontics 23 years experience
It shouldn't: People will often hear horror stories around the water cooler about root canals. There are plenty of situations where a patient comes to a root canal specialist in pain. Our job is to take the pain away, not cause it. We will get you numb. Test you to make sure you're numb. If for some reason you have a "hot" tooth and need more anesthetic raise up your left hand. We will stop and get u more numb.
Dr. Jeffrey Collura
Cosmetic Dentistry 14 years experience
No: The procedure itself should not hurt, as mentioned by others. There can be some post-op pain and discomfort, but this typically is not the norm and can usually be controlled with medication. Typically the pain associated with "root canals" is from the infection that caused the need for the root canal. This can cause pain before the procedure and often lingering pain as it clears up afterwards.
Dr. Kenneth Grossman
Endodontics 44 years experience
Rarely: Most root canals are painless with good local anesthesia. There are cases when the pulp is severely inflamed, known as acute pulpitis, where there can be some pain at entering the nerve chamber. This can be quickly controlled by the dr. With proper augmented local anesthesia.
Dr. Mark Venincasa
Cosmetic Dentistry 35 years experience
This varies....: The answer is dependent upon so many variables. These variable include the condition of the tooth and surrounding bone, the skills of the dentist, the empathy of the dental team, the sensitivity to dental procedures of the patient, the anxiety of the patient, among other things. It is possible to sleep through the procedure..... Seek online reviews of the dentist; some patients may offer info.
Dr. Don Millner
Cosmetic Dentistry 43 years experience
Pain in = pain out: If you came in for root canal with lots of discomfort from highly infected tooth, it maybe more difficult too keep you comfortable. While most good practitioners can alleviate most discomfort it is better to have the tooth treated before it becomes a full blown infection.
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
Dentistry 45 years experience
Possibly but...: Depending upon the time frame, the tooth may be sore for a few days or weeks. If the tooth is hitting too much when your upper and lower teeth touch, the dentist/root canal specialist should smooth down so it is out of occlusion (bite.) if the pain continues, get back to the dr. And have it checked- could have a fractured root, infection, etc.
Dr. Daniel Rubenstein
Dentistry 51 years experience
Root canal: Before a root canal is started, the tooth will be anesthetized. Once thoroughly numb, there will be little or no discomfort. In many cases, the nerve has died so there will be no feeling within the tooth. The local anesthetic is used to numb the surrounding gum tissue and increase your comfort level.
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin answered
Pain Management 36 years experience
Root canal procedure: Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful, but new techniques and advanced anesthesia are making it a reality for many patients. It helps you to eliminate future pain, complications and improve your general health and quality of life.
Dr. Bruce Terry
Specializes in Endodontics
NO: If you are numbed with a local anesthetic you will feel nothing during the procedure and for a few hours afterwards.
Dr. Kevin Nail
Dentistry 11 years experience
Root Canal Treatment: Most of the time no unless you are very swollen or have a large infection with pain going into the procedure. Most procedures I complete the patients experience no pain other than the feel of the injection.

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Similar questions

A 35-year-old member asked:

How bad does a root canal hurt and for how long?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Really doesn't hurt: Root canal therapy is completed with local anesthesia.. During the procedure you do not feel anything. After the anesthesia wears off, there is usually some soreness for a day. Otc pain meds take care of the pain, if any.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Will a root canal hurt after taking antiboitics?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
It could: An infection may still be brewing, even after antibiotics. The tooth may also have a fracture.
A 31-year-old member asked:

On average, how long will a root canal hurt after?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Wright
Dentistry 33 years experience
24 hours usually: The first 24 hours are the hardest. Some-most patients say they felt no pain during and after. Pain meds are normally given, so the post op pain she be minimal.
A 45-year-old member asked:

How badly will a root canal hurt?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. R Lee Hinson
Dentistry 38 years experience
The procedure : Should be relatively painless. Soreness after root canal therapy (and after anesthesia has resolved) is frequent but usually mild and short term. Pain medications will help. Society has developed a mind set that root canals are painful and the misconception is difficult to conquer! let your dentist explain the process and help moderate any concern you have with the anticipation of pain. Good luck!
A 36-year-old member asked:

How badly wills a root canal procedure hurt?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Yu
Dr. John Yu answered
Endodontics 16 years experience
Not much: Don't believe what other people tell you. I have so many patients that tell me after i had performed the procedures that they have absolutely no pain. Make sure you find someone that can work with your pain tolerance and are sensitive to your need. For patients that are extremely anxious I use oral sedation as an adjunct. Talk to your dentist and obtain a referral to an endodontist if warranted.

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Last updated Feb 11, 2020

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