No one looks forward to a root canal. But the truth is that new technology and pain relief have made the procedure far more comfortable than it was in the past. Still, a root canal involves tooth trauma, so patients often experience swelling after a root canal, and some experience mild pain while healing.

At Knight Dental Care in Midland, MI, Dr. Edward Knight performs root canals and can give patients specific instructions on managing tooth or jaw pain after the procedure.

Below, we’ll look at how long it takes most patients to heal and stop feeling pain after a root canal.

What does a root canal involve?

If you have a cavity from tooth decay, you typically get a filling. However, if the decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, you will need a root canal.

During a root canal, cosmetic dentist Dr. Edward Knight will administer local anesthesia for most patients. However, if you are anxious about the procedure, he can administer sedation to ensure the root canal causes no distress. While you are sedated, Dr. Knight extracts the infected pulp tissue from the tooth.

The canal through which the pulp is extracted is then sanitized and restored using a substance that helps strengthen the previously compromised tooth.

Do root canals hurt?

Patients who choose sedation generally will feel nothing during a root canal. However, most patients only need a local anesthetic, which involves a short pinching feeling as it is injected into the gums.

The anesthetic should prevent patients from feeling pain during the root canal, although you may feel pressure or experience vibrations from dental instruments. This can be distressing for some people but should not be physically painful.

Because the tooth pulp holds the nerves and blood supply for each tooth, it is sensitive. That’s why people who need a root canal often feel intense pain prior to the procedure.

At Knight Dental Care, Dr. Knight works to ensure that all patients leave in a more comfortable state than they arrived for a root canal. And during the procedure, the restored tooth is finished off with a sedative filling that can continue to keep the area comfortable during the first part of the recovery process.

How long does tooth pain or jaw pain last after a root canal?

For many people, a root canal puts an end to tooth and jaw pain. As the sedative or anesthetic wears off, patients experience mild soreness. But this can often be resolved with an appropriate pain reliever.

It’s not common for pain to last more than a few days or for patients to need narcotic pain relief for more than 1 – 2 days following treatment, and most of the time, an over-the-counter pain reliever is enough.

While swelling and sensitivity are common for a day or two following the procedure, appropriate aftercare will typically be enough to put you on the road to a swift recovery.

Even in the event of complications, which are rare, most sensitivity and swelling subside within a week. If they do not, you may need to come in for another appointment for Dr. Knight to assess the area.

Get a root canal in Midland, MI

Root canals have a reputation for being painful, but dentistry has come a long way in making patients comfortable during and after procedures.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain or jaw pain and think it may be due to tooth decay, it’s important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Edward Knight at Knight Dental Care in Midland, MI right away.