Young Bui, DDS
30 East 40th Street Suite 1201
New York, NY 10016

Do root canals hurt?

Do root canals hurt? We, the endodontists of Bryant Park Endodontics, have performed over 10,000 endodontic therapies (popularly called root canals) since we started operating.  Our endodontists want to make it very clear that the belief associated with a root canal that it can be painful is, by and large, a myth. You indeed may experience some pain while undergoing a root canal procedure, but it is not the procedure that causes the pain but rather the infection or cavity in the tooth.

Endodontic therapy is carried out to eliminate and reduce pain, besides disinfecting the affected tooth. Strides made in the field of dentistry now make it possible to carry out a root canal where the patient hardly experiences any pain.

A root canal treatment alleviates pain instead of causing it

If the American Association of Endodontists is to be believed, then the majority of patients barely feel any pain while undergoing a root canal procedure. Before we initiate the procedure, we numb the tooth as well as the area around it by injecting a local anesthetic. The anesthesia dulls and suppresses any pain or discomfiture that the patient may experience during the procedure.

However, patients will start sensing a degree of pain, some days after the treatment. We usually prescribe OTC painkillers and analgesics, including ibuprofen and aspirin, to our patients that help in relieving pain. However, we will always advise patients to get in touch with us immediately if the pain does not subside after taking the medications.

We also encourage patients to contact us at the earliest if and when pain comes back months after a root canal. It is very rare to experience pain following a successful root canal procedure, and if one does feel pain, then it could be indicative of renewed infection.

Most of the individuals, the moment they think of a root canal, become jittery and anxious. But such people can take solace from the fact that the procedure can offer relief from pain.

Pain following a root canal: Vital facts

  • The patient is put on anesthesia well ahead of the treatment, ensuring that he or she feels negligible to no pain.
  • One can opt for a repeat procedure if the first treatment proves ineffective
  • The diseased pulp section is removed during the procedure, and the pulp chamber is cleaned and filled

Likely causes of pain after undergoing a root canal

Many of our patients said that they felt a slight tenderness or sensitiveness for some days after the procedure. This feeling of discomfort could be because:

  • The interim filling (before installation of a crown) by our endodontist was not in level with the remaining surface of the tooth.
  • Damage or injury caused by a dental tool or instrument used for cleaning the tooth pulp

Root canal pain management at home

We suggest our patients to try to avoid chewing over the operated tooth until we’ve completed the dental restoration. We tell them to continue brushing and flossing as well as taking prescription painkillers.

Individuals experiencing a dental problem are encouraged to get in touch with our experienced dentists for a thorough checkup. To schedule an appointment with us you can call us at 646-434-1481 or visit our website




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