Will My Root Canal Therapy Be Painful?

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There are many myths surrounding root canal therapy that can scare potential patients, even to the point of preventing them from seeking treatment. One of the most misunderstood elements of root canal therapy is the pain it may cause. Despite each patient having a unique pain tolerance, root canal therapy is not as uncomfortable as most people think. 

woman touching mouth with hand with pained expression

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that root canal therapy does not cause any more pain than the average restorative or cosmetic treatment

Having a more thorough understanding of the tooth’s nature can also help ease a patient’s fears of root canal therapy. 

What Kind of Pain Should I Expect From My Root Canal?

Your dentist told you that you need a root canal, and you are worried it will hurt. 

First, patients should understand that the tooth consists of three layers: the outer enamel, soft dentin, and the inner pulp. If tooth decay goes untreated, it can extend to through the soft dental and to the pulp. Once this happens, the blood supply can stop, and the pulp’s tissue can die. 

When tooth decay reaches the pulp (an area consisting of nerve endings and blood vessels), a root canal is usually required to treat the situation. 

Once your care provider has examined your tooth/teeth and determined that root canal therapy is required, a local anesthetic will be provided. This local anesthetic will numb the tooth in question and the surrounding area, ensuring you are more comfortable. 

With this anesthetic, most patients feel little to no discomfort throughout the process. Any discomfort experienced does not stem from tooth pain, but, instead, potential discomfort from keeping your mouth open or sitting still in the dental chair.

It is important to remember that root canals are performed to eliminate tooth pain—not cause it.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

While root canal therapy might sound scary at first, patients who need treatment should not be alarmed. In fact, root canal therapy is one of the most common dental procedures performed across the country, with some reports suggesting that more than 15 million root canals are performed each year. 

If pain or anxiety is still a significant concern, sedation may be a viable option. Ideal candidates for sedation dentistry experience dental fear, have experienced traumatic dental experiences in the past, or require a more extensive/longer treatment. 

While avoiding treatments may initially ease these fears, postponing root canal therapy and other dental treatments can dramatically affect your oral health and cause dental problems to worsen. At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics, sedation dentistry (or sleep dentistry) can help you feel safe, comfortable, and more at peace during your visit.

Want to Learn More? 

If you have concerns about dental pain and discomfort, please call our office to learn about our quality care, sedation dentistry, and routine protocols for mitigating pain. Contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics at 858-295-0603 and receive a professional diagnosis with Dr. Kohani. Schedule a consultation today to learn more!