Are Root Canals Painful?

A smiling mature man giving the "thumbs up" in the dental chair after root canal therapy

Do you wince when you hear the words “root canal?” In the past, people dreaded this dental treatment for good reason, but thanks to modern dentistry, it’s not painful anymore! Root canals actually relieve pain and prevent tooth loss. Here’s a little more information to ease your mind.

Signs You Might Need a Root Canal

Root canals are necessary when the pulp inside your tooth gets infected. A few things – such as decay or a break – can lead to infections. Signs of infection can include mild to severe toothaches, sensitivity, an abscess, and tender, swollen gums. While most people experience symptoms, some people can have an infection without realizing it. This is one reason why regular cleanings and exams are so important.

What’s a Root Canal Like?

Before we start the root canal, we’ll numb the area around the tooth so you don’t feel pain. We also offer sedation options if you’re still nervous about the treatment. Talk to us beforehand and we’ll figure out together what works best for you! When the area is numb or you’re sedated, we’ll drill a tiny hole in your tool. With special tools, we’ll clean out the infected pulp and apply antibiotics. To replace the pulp, we’ll fill the hole with a biocompatible material and then seal the tooth. We’ll most likely place a crown restoration to keep your tooth strong.

After a Root Canal

Most root canals take between 30-60 minutes. When you’re cleaning your teeth, be careful around the affected area. You’ll most likely feel a little sensitive or sore for 3-5 days. If you start feeling more significant pain or notice anything odd, please contact us.

Root Canal Treatment at Helotes Family Dentistry

Root canals are a very common treatment. Our dentists have performed many in their careers and are committed to your comfort and health. While they may seem intimidating, root canals are not painful. Plus, they stop an infection in its tracks so we can save your tooth. If you have any questions about root canals at our Helotes office, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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