Root Canal - Procedures

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Is there pain associated with getting a root canal?

Usually, people will say that a root canal doesn't hurt any more than getting a simple filling, and they should be able to return to their normal activities immediately. Since a person needing a root canal is often already in extreme pain, the root canal treatment actually provides relief from pain and recovery is very minimal. When the anesthesia wears off, the gums around the tooth will be sore from the rubber dam clamp, and it may feel a little sore when chewing with that tooth -- especially if the tooth was abscessed prior to treatment. Even though the nerve is no longer inside the tooth, there are still nerve endings around the outside of the tooth that may be inflamed as a result of an abscess or the root canal treatment itself. It is best to try chewing on the opposite side of the mouth for a few days following the root canal to give the bone and tissues around the tooth time to calm down.

Any pain or discomfort can be controlled by taking ibuprofen (Advil) or another over-the-counter pain medication when appropriate. Ibuprofen should not be used by people taking certain blood thinners or those with kidney disease or stomach ulcers. A person who is experiencing extreme pain following a root canal that isn't getting better after a few days should return to the treating dentist immediately for further evaluation.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: barley, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I worked 2nd shift so I scheduled my appointment for 10 am. The root canal procedure lasted 2 hours and it was tiring with an open mouth and painful. I now have a crown but my bite is off and needs adjusting. It is still sore the following day and I eat only on the opposite side. I had to call in sick to work the day of the root canal procedure. My lesson is to do this when you have a day or two off to allow time to recover.

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Comment from: Frustrated, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

During the root canal, all was going fine, no pain, till the dentist stuck in rods with notches to measure tooth root length, which caused great pain and I had to be given more anesthesia. I'm guessing he pushed it in too far.

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