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How painful are root canals? Here’s what you need to know

Root canals can seem scary, but they’re also one of the most common dental procedures. In this article, we aim to help you understand how root canals work, why they are needed, and what to expect during a root canal procedure. We’ll also walk you through some useful tips for managing your pain during a root canal procedure like taking ibuprofen or other over-the-counter medications.

What is a root canal?

  • A root canal is a procedure used to treat the infected pulp tissue in a tooth. The pulp is the soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
  • It is performed by a dentist who specialises in root canals. The purpose is to remove diseased pulp and bacteria from your tooth. This will allow it to heal properly without causing pain or further damage.
  • Benefits of undergoing a root canal include preventing further infection that could cause more damage to the tooth and oral health complications such as abscesses or other infections that require extensive treatment like antibiotics or surgery.
  • The procedure itself takes anywhere from two hours up to four hours depending on how much work needs to be done on the infected area of your mouth—but this does not necessarily mean you will be sitting still for four hours straight!

Does a root canal procedure hurt?

The procedure itself does not cause pain as the area is typically numbed. The only pain you should feel during the procedure is the local anaesthetic needles being injected near the treatment area. After this, the pain should be under control and you should only feel pressure and sensation. The area may be sensitive to hot or cold for a few days after the treatment. You may experience some pain once the anaesthetic has had time to wear off however, this is usually shortlived and shouldn’t last longer than a few days.

You may need to take antibiotics for a few days following the root canal procedure and take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist if necessary. It is helpful to have someone drive you home after your appointment because you may feel woozy from the anesthesia that was used during the root canal.

What are the side effects of a root canal?

Aside from the slight swelling and redness of the gums, you may experience mild pain in the area. This is normal and should go away within a few days after your root canal treatment.

As with any dental procedure, pain is unavoidable following a root canal. However, it is usually not severe enough to require the use of prescription medications.

If you experience persistent pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away on its own within a week or two following your root canal procedure, there could be an issue with your treatment plan that needs to be addressed by your gold coast family dentist immediately.

Are there alternatives to a root canal?

Root canals are often done when you have a tooth that is at risk of future decay or infection. The dentist uses local anesthesia and drills into the tooth to clean out the infected tissue. If you’re having a root canal done, it’s important to understand how long they last (they’re not forever), how much they cost and what symptoms could indicate that something is wrong with your affected tooth.

How much do root canals cost?

Root canal therapy costs vary by location and practitioner, but it can cost anywhere between $500 and $1500. The best way to get a price is by having a consultation with a dentist. They will be able to tell you exactly what procedures you need and how much they will cost.

What are the risks of ignoring a dental problem?

The risks of ignoring dental problems are worth considering. Root canal therapy is the best way to treat some dental problems, so it’s something you should do if your dentist recommends it. Some people choose not to get a root canal because they’re afraid of facing pain or expense. But without treatment, a tooth may need to be removed and replaced with an artificial one—and then comes all the discomfort associated with getting used to another tooth. Root canal therapy won’t actually fix your teeth; instead, it will prevent further damage while they’re still in place and healthy enough for use. Poor oral health is associated with other health conditions. When teeth become infected, they can’t be used for chewing food or speaking clearly. This can make it difficult to eat the right amount of nutrients or get enough calories each day. The infection also increases your risk of developing other diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease.

A root canal may not be as painful as you think

Though it is a process you may be dreading, the fact is that root canals aren’t as painful as they seem. The pain you feel during the procedure itself is brief and temporary, similar to what you might experience with a filling or wisdom tooth extraction. And while there are situations where root canal treatment isn’t necessary—if your tooth is infected but not affecting other teeth in your mouth, for example—most cases do require it in order to save your natural teeth.

When you’re thinking about getting a root canal, remember that this procedure doesn’t have to mean losing the tooth forever; it could just mean saving what is left of it so that your general dentist can restore its function and appearance once healed.


If you are considering having a root canal, don’t let fear prevent you from doing it. Remember that numerous studies have shown that the procedure is not nearly as painful as people think it will be and that there are many options available to minimise discomfort during treatment. Be sure to let your dentist know if you are feeling apprehensive about the procedure beforehand. If you have any questions about root canals or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at Soul Dental. We pride ourselves on offering the very best dental care on the Gold Coast and we aim to deliver a gentle and professional approach to all your dental needs. Contact our friendly team today!

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