How Painful Are Root Canals?


Quick Answer

A root canal does not cause much discomfort aside from the process of receiving a local anesthesia shot. It is a simple outpatient procedure that often provides relief to patients who are suffering with painful abscesses. Any pain after the treatment can be managed with drugstore painkillers.

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Full Answer

Nerve endings surrounding the affected tooth and gums are likely to be sore after undergoing a root canal due to the application of a rubber dam clamp and lingering tenderness from the abscess swelling. While the tooth is recovering, patients must avoid using the corresponding side of the mouth to chew food. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be used to minimize any aches that occur during the first few days after the procedure.

In rare cases, people may experience considerable pain following a root canal. If this occurs, it is imperative for the patient to revisit the dentist as soon as possible to assess the cause of the discomfort. It is possible for an affected tooth to fracture after a root canal, because most of the bone has been removed and the tooth structure is weaker. Dental files can break off inside the root and a dentist must decide if the site can be filled or if a second surgery is required.

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