Reducing Discomfort before and after Root Canal Treatment


While the words “root canal” often put patients on edge, most people who undergo root canal therapy experience minimal levels of discomfort. Advances in anesthetics and sedation allow dentists to perform the procedure quickly, safely, effectively, and without excessive pain. In fact, the infection itself is usually much more painful than the root canal procedure that relieves it. 

Mountain View Dental & Orthodontics has several highly trained dentists on-site, including orthodontist Dr. David Farnsworth, who can perform a root canal. Once you have undergone the straightforward procedure at our Otero Count, NM, dental practice, you can enjoy the benefits of restored oral health. Many of our patients still wonder, “Do root canals hurt?” To allay those concerns, we offer this overview.

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

Root canal therapy is recommended when decay or an infection places the health of a tooth at risk. By the time a patient requires this restorative treatment, they are often experiencing significant pain. Root canal therapy can provide immediate relief while preventing the need for tooth extraction.

Signs that you may need to undergo this procedure include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Pain when chewing
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Darkening of a tooth
  • Gum tissue swelling
  • A persistent pimple on the gums (a possible sign of abscess)

Woman receiving sedation

Sedation dentistry can help even the most anxious patients relax during their appointment at our office. 

What Steps Will Be Taken to Reduce My Discomfort?

Our doctors take careful measures before and during your procedure to ensure you remain comfortable. To this end, our office offers local anesthesia and sedation. Local anesthesia is administered directly to the nerve of your tooth and eliminates the tooth's ability to receive or send pain signals.

Additionally, our doctors offer two forms of sedation: oral and nitrous oxide. Sedation does not address pain, but it does address comfort. Once the sedative has set in, patients generally report that they are no longer nervous. Some patients even experience euphoria and a sense of well-being throughout the procedure.

Postponing treatment could jeopardize the health or even the viability of your tooth.

Treatment only begins once you are completely comfortable. Once the infected tissue has been removed and the effects of the local anesthesia have worn off, your pain should disappear.  

What Can You Do To Stay Comfortable?

Your mouth will likely feel tender and sensitive in the days after your procedure. In addition to following the doctor's guidelines for recovery, you can minimize your discomfort by: 

  • Sleeping with an elevated pillow
  • Frequently and lightly gargling with saltwater
  • Using ice to reduce swelling
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene habits
  • Abstaining from hard foods
  • Avoiding hot or cold drinks 

Schedule Your Root Canal Today

Most people report that the root canals are no more painful than having a filling placed. If you are experiencing significant pain in your mouth, it could be a sign of advanced infection. Postponing treatment could jeopardize the health or even the viability of your tooth. To find relief from pain, contact our office online or call (575) 437-7900 and schedule an appointment. 

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"Great customer service and care! For once in my life, I don't dread going to the dentist! All of the staff is very knowledgeable and thoughtful."

Kristin L.

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Alamogordo Office

2081 E 1st Street
Alamogordo, NM 88310

Open Today 8:00am - 4:30pm

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