General Dentistry |3 min read

Do Root Canals Hurt?

woman holding her jaw in pain

Discovering you need a root canal during your dental check-up is intimidating.

You’ve probably heard of the rumors of how painful root canals are – it even sounds scary.

But have no fear.

We’re going to put your mind at ease by explaining:

  • What a root canal is
  • If it hurts
  • How long it takes
  • And more!

Let’s get started.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is the removal of infected tissue in your tooth.

Once it’s removed, your tooth is:

  • Cleaned
  • Disinfected
  • Filled and sealed

The part of the tooth that is removed is commonly known as pulp. It helps with your tooth’s growth during development.

When your tooth is fully developed, the pulp is no longer vital to your tooth’s health. Your tooth will be nourished by other healthy tissue around it.

Do root canals hurt?

No, root canals don’t hurt!

In fact:

Root canals get you out of pain.

An infected tooth is much more painful. And the longer you wait for treatment, the more pain you’ll be in.

A root canal procedure eliminates bacteria and prevents further decay. This treatment preserves as much of your natural tooth as possible.

The common misconception about root canal pain stems from a lack of technology and anesthetics decades ago.  Now, a local anesthetic is administered to the area and your treatment will be pain-free.

After your procedure, you may experience a temporary soreness from having your mouth opened for an extended time period.

It’s best to wait until your anesthesia wears off before eating and drinking to avoid biting your cheek or tongue.

Are root canals more painful than fillings?

No, a root canal isn’t more painful than fillings.

In fact:

Neither procedures are painful, thanks to modern dental technology.

How long does a root canal take?

A root canal takes anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes.

How long it takes depends on:

  • Number of roots your tooth has
  • Extent of decay and damage

Keep in mind:

It may require up to two visits to thoroughly remove the infected tissues.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Severe tooth or gum pain when eating is a significant indicator that a root canal procedure is needed.


This also varies from patient to patient, and you might not even experience pain in some cases.

Other signs to look out for include:

  • Darkened gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gum inflammation
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures

Schedule a consultation to get an accurate medical diagnosis.

The earlier you get treatment, the better!

It’ll make a huge difference in preserving your natural tooth while alleviating your pain.

Where can I get a root canal in Prescott, AZ?

Save your tooth and relieve severe pain caused by tooth decay at Distinctive Dental Care.

We’ll refer you to our trusted specialized expert to safely perform your root canal procedure. Then, our father-and-son dental team completes your smile with a custom-made crown to blend in with your surrounding teeth.

Get rid of your pain now!
Request an Appointment


Our office is conveniently located in Prescott, AZ… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website…. We happily welcome patients from the neighboring communities of Williamson Valley, Skull Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, Wilhoit, Chino Valley, Mayer, Paulden, and Spring Valley, AZ.