Managing root canal treatment pain

Managing root canal treatment pain

When you need an Endodontic treatment (a root canal treatment) and you are also in pain, the treatment is there to get you out of pain, not to cause you additional pain!


This may sound obvious and should be very clear to all patients, but the sad truth is that, to date, myths and basic misconceptions about root canal treatment pain still prevail.


Root canal treatments sadly create a special sense of dread in many patients’ minds, conjuring images of an extremely painful and sometimes even a ‘horrible’ experience.


Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that when you are treated by a specialist Endodontist, with the right knowledge, expertise and experience, a root canal procedure should not be painful at all.


When you are in pain, we must first identify the true cause and diagnose correctly. After this, there is no point in starting treatment until your tooth is made successfully fully numb, so that you can go through the root canal treatment procedure, painlessly.


As a specialist Endodontist I have a vested interest in you having as painless experience as possible, during your root canal treatment.


If you were to have a bad dental experience, both you and I, as the treating dentist, would be under unneeded stress during the entire procedure. I would then have to deal not only with the complexities of the treatment itself but also with the knowledge that you are not comfortable in the chair and might fidget or move.


As your treating dentist it is my aim to perform this complex procedure for you with precision and in as calm an attitude as possible, thus reducing the risk of any mistakes happening along the way.


No less important is the fact that should you experience pain during treatment, you would be more likely to perpetuate the myths and misconceptions about root canal treatments by sharing your less than ideal experience with your friends and family, potentially deterring others from attending treatments or taking proper care of their teeth health.

Dr. Adi Moran, root canal specialist, endodontist, London:



“Changing the existing misconceptions about the pain involved in Endodontic treatments, on a global scale, may take the dental community decades. My personal commitment is to devote myself to creating a painless and comfortable experience to my own patients, and to prove that root canal treatments can indeed be painless. I do that one patient at a time, case by case.

How do we manage root canal treatment pain?

To be able to manage your pain well, we first need to diagnose the cause of your tooth pain. Once we know what is causing the pain we can then tailor the most effective tooth pain management techniques, ones that will be most helpful to your specific case.


When diagnosing the origin of your tooth pain we consider many factors such as the duration of the pain, the level and quality of pain, different signs and symptoms of your toothache and many other factors. We then apply this information to the practice of getting your tooth numbed well.


There is no point in starting treatment until your tooth is truly numb and I am committed to making sure any treatment you undertake will be as comfortable as possible.


With today’s extensive understanding of pathophysiology of pain mechanisms (the way dental pain works in your body), an Endodontist (root canal specialist), who knows how to apply that knowledge properly, can guarantee that even teeth that are considered “very difficult to numb” can be numbed well for a painless root canal treatment.


According to your case’s specific conditions, numbing techniques may vary. These may include using a combination of different types of numbing materials, administered in different locations and even sometimes aided by giving pre-treatment medication. Additionally, the techniques can be further modified before or during the treatment if we find a need for it.

The field of Endodontic pain management is ever advancing and Endodontists (root canal specialists) can study it to a broader and deeper extent compared to general dentists. This is because Specialists concentrate on a narrow field in dentistry – the treatment of root canals and pain management, and don’t need to keep up to date on all fronts of dentistry.

As a result, I and other fellow Endodontists can get and stay up to date on the latest most advanced techniques of managing dental pain during a root canal treatment, more so, than general dentists.

Your chances of experiencing a comfortable and painless root canal treatment are much higher at the hands of an endodontic specialist.

Pain after root canal treatment

(Post-Treatment pain management)

Some conditions that cause root canal pain, can be immediately resolved, on the day, just by undergoing the root canal treatment procedure itself or a part of it (the emergency part).


Some patients suffering these conditions, can come to us literality in tears and leave us smiling after the procedure. It’s always very gratifying hearing their great feed-back when we call them the following day to check on them and see how they feel.


Dr. Adi Moran, endodontist:


“I feel greatly rewarded in these circumstances; it’s a gift being able to get a patient out of pain so quickly and effectively.”

Other conditions that are at the cause of root canal pain may need some more time after the treatment before the pain can subside, but still, do so as a result of having the treatment done.


These are usually situations where the supporting soft tissues or the bone adjacent to the tooth are already inflamed (because of infection in your root canal system).


In those cases, oftentimes supplementing our patients with the correct medication regime is key in helping them heal quickly and in managing their pain well.


Dr Adi Moran:


“We are not healers, but rather treating professionals. We do the treatment; your body does the healing. Sometimes it may take longer than you would want, but we are there for you throughout and may add to or modify the procedure with further treatment or advice, if needed”.

Finally, changing the myths and misconceptions about root canal treatment pain, in patients’ eyes is key to a better dental health, and is also a personal passion of mine. For this reason, I choose to regularly stay up to date on the topic of “root canal pain management” and to include it whenever I lecture to dental practitioners and dental students, worldwide.