Root Canal Pain: How much does a Root Canal Hurt?
The root canal treatment procedure involves the removal of the infected region at the root of the tooth. The infection of a root canal can develop due to trauma to the teeth or general decay caused by poor oral hygiene.
Stages of Root Canal Pain
The pain associated with an infected root canal can be divided into three stages. Let us look at these:
Stage 1 – Before Root Canal Treatment
This is the stage of infection. When the infection begins, the root canal pain is mild and if the infection is left untreated, the pain starts becoming severe with time. The severity also depends on the number of root canals infected. The biggest risk is that the infection can spread to the bones.
Stage 2 – During the Root Canal Treatment
Once the infection is identified, the first instinct of your dentist would be to recommend you a Root Canal Treatment. The process may vary slightly from one professional to the other but, by and large, it involves four things:
- Administering anesthesia.
- Drilling out the infected part.
- Filling the removed part.
- Putting back the crown of the teeth.
Stage 3 – After the Root Canal Treatment
During the treatment you are under the influence of anesthesia and, therefore, feel no root canal pain. But as its influence wears off, the sensation of pain sets in. This pain should only last a few days yet if your tooth becomes infected again, the root canal pain will not subside.
Does a Root Canal Hurt?
In absolute terms, there are two scenarios. One says yes, Root Canal hurts and the other says no, it does not. Let us explore both:
The ‘Yes’ Scenario
Here, does a root canal hurt? Yes, it does. Be it before the treatment, during, or after.
- Before the treatment, if the condition is left untreated for long, the infection spreads and becomes severe.
- During the treatment, if the dentists do not administer anesthesia only then pain can be felt. This is unlikely to happen.
- After the treatment, the pain can stay for a few days, but it is mild and goes away on its own. Your dentist may prescribe painkillers. Does a root canal hurt due to the treatment procedure? Yes, if the procedure is not done properly, an infection can develop.
The ‘No’ Scenario
Here, Does the root canal hurt? Not really! Let’s see why:
- Before the treatment, if the infection is identified at an early stage, the possibility of high-intensity pain is ruled out.
- During the treatment, if anesthesia is administered correctly, the patient will feel no pain.
- After the treatment, if the patient takes the right precautions no further infection will develop.
How painful is a Root Canal?
We already understand that a root canal, right from its inception as an infection till after the treatment, involves pain. But how painful is a root canal in terms of intensity? To answer this crucial question, look at the bifurcation below:
Root canal pain in terms of intensity
The intensity of the pain can be – mild, high, and severe
- Mild pain develops at the onset of infection when the pulp in the tooth gets inflamed. It could be in the form of tenderness or discomfort when pressure is applied. The stages following the treatment also subject us to mild pain.
- High pain is when the infection spreads to more than one tooth or develops further within the same. There could be pus, redness, and swelling. After the treatment, how painful is a Root Canal? Quite, if infection occurs in the treated tooth again.
- Severe pain occurs when the condition is left untreated for long. Here answer to how painful is a Root Canal is – very because the infection likely spreads to the bones and the gums become inflamed.