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Does a Root Canal Hurt?

Does a Root Canal Hurt

Oh the dreaded root canal.

I get the question of “does a root canal hurt?” all the time. It normally is followed by “I heard from so and so that it was the worst experience of his/her life.” Women tell me, “it’s worse than giving birth.” I smile while I try to figure out how to approach this topic with caution. Most people fear the dentist, let alone someone who needs a root canal done… well you may as well have asked them to sacrifice their first born.

My response in most cases is: “No, in general it doesn’t and I’ve had many patients fall asleep while I’m working on them and start snoring.” I’m not sure if it’s due to the initial anxiety of getting a root canal and not being able to sleep the night before, or if it’s just boring to lay there not being able to talk to anyone.

Root canals aren’t supposed to hurt.

We numb you and try to make it as comfortable as possible. Sometimes the numbing doesn’t work due to anatomy or wearing off of the numbing agent. That’s when you may feel something and we will administer more numbing agent or alternatively we may need to give you other options:

  • Sedation, because we don’t want you to suffer while we work on you. We try to get you out of the initial pain that you have not cause more.
  • Now things like back aches, neck aches, or getting tired from keeping your mouth open for the entire procedure can’t be helped too much, except for offering you a pillow for your neck
  • Divide your root canal into 2 appointments.
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