Does root canal treatment hurt? Understand how it is done and when to do it.

Do you have a toothache and are afraid that you will need root canal treatment? There are many people that just thinking about this possibility makes them nervous and postpone the treatment. However, what many people don’t know is that root canal treatment is often the only way to keep your tooth in usable condition.

Besides, everything is done under anesthesia, which means that the pain you think you will feel is carefully avoided by the dentist. Therefore, there is no need to be afraid of having a root canal treatment. Just look for the right professional to evaluate and decide if this is really the best procedure.

Still in doubt? Then find out everything you need about root canal treatment.

What is root canal treatment?

To begin with, it is necessary to understand what a root canal is. There is an inner part of the tooth that is called the pulp. When this pulp is infected, dead, or damaged, it needs to be removed. The site must be cleaned and filled in another way so that the rest of the tooth is preserved. The cleaning and subsequent sealing of the canal is known as root canal treatment.

In the past, it was common for these teeth to be pulled. However, nowadays professionals have several techniques for root canal treatment and often manage to preserve the tooth structure.

In general, the tooth pulp dies or becomes infected due to problems such as

– Broken tooth, due to a fall or other problem;

– Deep decay;

– Damage to the tooth, recent or older, resulting from physical injury.

When the pulp is not treated it can form pus and even an abscess inside the mouth. This, in turn, can affect the bones and cause pain. Therefore, the sooner the root canal treatment is done, the better.

How does root canal treatment work?

First of all, you should know that root canal treatment is initially done under anesthesia. In general, the steps are:

  1. Access: this is when the dentist reaches the inflamed region. To do this, he uses a device known as a motorzinho. In general, the area is anesthetized;
  2. Removal of the infected pulp: This is the second step, when the canals are emptied. The region is decontaminated and smoothed, so that the tooth is ready to be closed. In general, it is necessary to do this procedure more than once until the site is ready for restoration. Therefore, you will need to visit the dentist a few times. Before the end of the treatment the tooth will be left with a dressing.
  3. Obturation of the canals: This is the end of the treatment, when the canals are filled with a special substance and after the sealing is done, the site is closed. In some cases, it is necessary to make a partial prosthesis or a crown to finish the treatment.

Why have root canal treatment?

Even if you are afraid of having root canal treatment, it is important for you to know that, many times, this will be the only procedure capable of making your tooth remain useful.

When the problem reaches the tooth pulp there is no other alternative, it is necessary to have a root canal to avoid an extraction.

How is a root canal procedure performed on the tooth?

In general, root canal treatment requires the person to visit the dentist between three and five times. During these visits he will:

– Open the affected portion of the tooth in order to reach the root canal;

– Remove the dead or infected pulp. The space is widened, cleaned and disinfected;

– When necessary, the site is closed and receives a temporary restoration;

– At the next visit, the temporary restoration is removed so that the canal can be filled with an appropriate material;

– The crown is placed on the tooth or, in some cases, the floor is fixed so that the crown can be installed.

What root canal treatment is for.

When a tooth is broken or decay is advanced, root canal treatment is often the only option. Injured or inflamed pulp must receive this treatment. In this way, tooth extraction is avoided.

The tooth hurts, do I have to do a root canal?

Not always. Toothache can be related to an injury or inflammation in the dental pulp or not. It can be, for example, a problem in the gums, which causes pain.

Therefore, if you have a toothache you should see a dentist as soon as possible, so that the professional can make an evaluation and prescribe the correct treatment.


What is the specialty for root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment can be done by an endodontist or a dentist. However, not all dentists perform root canal treatment. Therefore, you may have all treatments and follow-ups done by a professional and, if you need a root canal, he/she may suggest you to seek an endodontist.

When should a root canal be done?

In the dental pulp there are blood vessels and nerves. This area is soft tissue and, when affected, causes pain. It is located inside the tooth and extends from the crown to the tip of the root. The root, in turn, is inside the jaw.

When the pulp is affected, it cannot recover on its own. In this case it necrodes and the infection takes place inside the tooth. There are cases in which there is no caries stain on the outside of the tooth, but inside the tooth the pulp is affected and root canal treatment needs to be performed.

When the treatment is not done, the pain increases and pus formation occurs. An abscess is formed. This in turn can cause damage to the bone around the tooth. The site can swell and affect the jawbone.

Therefore, whenever the tooth pulp is affected, root canal treatment should be done as soon as possible. Once it is done, when well treated, the tooth can last a lifetime.

Is root canal treatment painful?

No, the pain is felt before the treatment is done. As the pulp is injured, people have toothache and the more evolved the injury, the more pain you will have.

However, the treatment itself does not hurt. The person is given anesthesia so that the tooth can be opened, cleaned and disinfected. The region may be more sensitive during the days of treatment, but you will not feel any pain.

It is worth remembering that even the tooth that has already received root canal treatment should be cleaned and properly cared for. In addition, it is important to know that teeth that have undergone root canal treatment are more sensitive and may break more easily.

Therefore, besides the correct and daily hygiene, it is necessary to visit the dentist once or twice a year for a deep cleaning and to monitor the oral health.


There are many myths surrounding root canal treatment, but there is no need to be afraid. Many times, this is the only option to save your tooth and avoid extraction. So, if you have a toothache, go to the dentist as soon as possible and, if the root canal treatment is the professional’s recommendation, do it. Start as soon as possible.

In addition, it is very important that you visit your dentist regularly so that he or she can evaluate your oral health, advise you, and correct any problems. In addition, you should have a dental cleaning once or twice a year. During this professional cleaning, tartar, which can cause a variety of health problems, is removed and your teeth are better protected.

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