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Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

Many patients are under the impression that root canal treatment is an exceptionally painful procedure. However, that is not necessarily the case. In fact, treatment provides many patients with restored comfort. Advancements in the field of endodontics have vastly improved efficiency during the procedure. Many patients also choose to undergo sedation to remain relaxed throughout treatment. At Petersen Endodontics in Scottsdale, AZ, we address concerns over root canal pain by informing patients on precisely what to expect during and after the procedure. Dr. Aric Petersen and our team strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible with accurate information and a caring approach.

Treatment Can Provide Relief

Illustration of infected toothPatients with a root canal infection may experience severe pain prior to their procedure, however, root canal treatment is meant to alleviate that pain by removing the damaged tissue. In fact, in many cases, the level of discomfort during root canal therapy is compared to the process of receiving a dental filling. Over time, the procedure itself has become more refined which allows it to be completed more quickly. Typically, the shorter the treatment, the lower level of pain the patient will experience. Dr. Petersen uses advanced tools, such as the GentleWave® System, which is even less invasive and more precise than traditional methods.

The Role of Anesthesia & Sedation

To begin the procedure, a local anesthetic is applied to completely numb the treatment area. Local anesthesia works by inhibiting nerve transmission to pain receptors. You may feel slight pressure during treatment but you should not experience pain. 

Dr. Petersen uses advanced tools, such as the GentleWave® System, to complete treatment more quickly and precisely.

Patients can also take advantage of the various sedation methods we offer, including nitrous oxide, oral conscious, and intravenous (IV) sedation, to relieve any anxiety over treatment. Sedation allows patients to feel relaxed and is often recommended for those who have trouble sitting still. These medications also have an amnestic effect so you may have only a faint memory of the procedure. 

GentleWave has revolutionized the root canal procedure so it can be completed more quickly, conservatively, and effectively. 

Discomfort after the Procedure

After your treatment, you may experience some mild to moderate pain. Discomfort is often described as tenderness or soreness, and you may also find that the surrounding tissues are slightly irritated. 

Alleviating Pain

Discomfort can typically be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. To prevent unnecessary discomfort while eating, it is important that patients stick to a softer diet for at least a few days. Applying a cold compress can also help soothe pain and swelling. 

When to Contact Our Office

If pain and tenderness persist or worsen after a few days, or are accompanied by a fever, you should notify our office. These symptoms may indicate that you need retreatment. While many patients find root canal therapy is sufficient to restore their oral health, in some cases, multiple treatments are necessary to fully eradicate the infection. 

Your Comfort is Our Priority

We understand that patients may be apprehensive about their root canal procedure and make every effort to provide you with gentle, effective treatment. Delaying treatment can worsen pain and other symptoms, and even require an extraction. Schedule your consultation by contacting us online or call us today at (480) 767-8888.

MessageOur Staff

To say it was the best dental experience I have ever had is an understatement. Andrea B.

VisitOur Office

Scottsdale Office

10752 N 89th Pl
Ste 117
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Open Today 7:30am - 4:30pm

More Info Directions (480) 767-8888

Scottsdale Office

10752 N 89th Pl
Ste 117
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Open Today 7:30am - 4:30pm

More Info Directions (480) 767-8888