Need A Root Canal? Here’s An FAQ To Help You Know What To Expect

If you need a root canal, you are not alone. The American Association of Endodontists estimates that about 15 million root canals are done every year. You probably have a lot of questions about your root canal treatment.

Are you put to sleep during a root canal? Most people are not. Novocaine is usually all that is needed to numb you before the surgery. However, if you suffer from dental phobia, then sedation dentistry may be your only option. Then, you are put to sleep with anesthesia.

How much bleeding during root canal procedure is normal? If you are awake during the procedure, you will see many splatters of blood. This is normal. It is also normal for there to be some bleeding up to two days after your root canal.

What is the best medicine for root canal pain? Most dentists do not prescribe any pain medicine for a root canal. Using over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen is usually all it takes.

Are artificial nerves root canal procedures possible? Although scientists have successfully made artificial nerves in the lab, these are hoped to be used for people with prosthetic limbs. So far, there are no plans to place artificial nerves in the mouth. Root canals do remove your tooth’s nerves. You do not need the nerves for your tooth to do its job well.

More than half of the adult U.S. population surveyed over age 50 agree that a smile is the one physical feature that stays the most attractive as we age, according to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. But in order to achieve and maintain your smile, you need to make frequent trips to the dentist for cleanings and evaluations. Otherwise, you may be ashamed to show your smile in photos, like the 18% of people who say they usually conceal their teeth in photos. And even though root canals are a fairly common procedure in the family dentistry field, there are many people who don’t know what to expect. Here are some answers to common questions about getting a root canal.

    1. “Is a root canal painful?”
      While many people think of root canals as painful, dental technology has made strides in reducing the amount of pain felt during one. says, With modern techniques and anesthetics, the vast majority of patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure…In some cases prescription medications may be necessary, and are available from your endodontist. Follow your endodontist’s instructions carefully.”


    1. “When do I know if I need a root canal?”
      There are many telltale signs that you may need a root canal, including extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods, numbness or discomfort, difficulty chewing or biting, and severe pain in the area. Your dentist may also be the first to notice the issue and diagnose a need for a root canal procedure. It’s also important to note that not cases that require root canals experience any of these symptoms; it can be a pain free as well.


  1. “Why don’t I just get the tooth removed?”
    Most of the time, a full extraction is not necessary, and the biggest benefit of a root canal is being able to keep the affected tooth instead of having to permanently lose it.

Ultimately, there are many benefits of root canals, and most family dental professionals highly recommend them as an alternative to a full removal. For more information, contact Hudson Family Dental.