Do Root Canals Hurt? Frequently Asked Questions Answered!

Woman touching jaw area in pain
A question we get asked frequently is, “Do root canals hurt?”

We get it.

Finding out you need a root canal can be scary if you don’t know exactly what goes on during the procedure.


We’re here to put your mind at ease as we explain the biggest myths and answer your top questions behind root canals.

Your trusted dentist in Burke, VA prioritizes transparency, so we’ll always tell you how it is. No surprises here.

Keep reading to find your top questions answered.

What is a root canal procedure?

It’s the removal of inflamed or infected tissue in your tooth.

Once removed, the inside of your tooth is:

    • Cleaned
    • Disinfected
    • Filled
    • Sealed

The infected area of soft tissue removed is commonly known as “pulp.” This helps grow the root of your tooth during development.

Your fully developed tooth doesn’t need the pulp to function – it’ll be nourished by the other tissues surrounding it!

Do root canals hurt?

No, root canals don’t hurt.

That may have been the case decades ago, but with modernized technology and anesthetics, your root canal procedure will be quicker and more comfortable.


The pain and decay from infected teeth will increase the longer you postpone treatment.

With treatment, we’ll be able to eliminate bacteria and prevent reinfection. Our goal is to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible.

How long does a root canal take?

It can vary anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the case. Typical factors include:

    • Number of roots your tooth has
    • Extent of infection

A root canal treatment may require up to two visits.

How did my tooth get infected?

There are many reasons that would lead to a tooth infection, but poor dental hygiene is the leading cause.

Cavities can spread and worsen if it’s not taken care of as soon as possible.

Chipped and cracked teeth expose your tooth’s inner tissues, opening up a path for harmful bacteria to come inside.

The best way to stop tooth decay is to prevent it.

Keep your teeth healthy with these steps:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Use ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and products
  • Visit your dentist regularly, at least twice a year
  • Limit sugar intake

How do I know if I need a root canal?

The most significant indicator you may need a root canal is a severe tooth or gum pain, especially when eating.


Sometimes you may not experience pain.

Be sure to keep a lookout for these other signs as well:

  • Lasting sensitivity to hot or cold sensations
  • Deep tooth decay
  • Darkened gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gum inflammation

The best way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation today. We’ll thoroughly examine your tooth and determine the best course of action for you.

If you feel like you may need a root canal, call us right away.


The earlier you get dental treatment, the better.

It will make a huge difference in saving as much of your natural tooth as possible.

Need a root canal dentist in Burke, VA?

You’re one phone call away from saving your tooth and relieving severe pain.

Dr. Daliah Bazerbashi’s knowledge and years of extensive training treat infected teeth from extensive decay and restore teeth function.

To keep your smile healthy, we also offer the following dental services: general, cosmetic, implant, and sedation dentistry.

Our dental office is located in Burke, VA, and we happily protect smiles from all over, including the areas in and surrounding Northern Virginia, Alexandria, Fairfax, Richmond, Chantilly, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

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