Root canals often get a bad rap for being complicated and painful but they are normally trouble-free procedures.
Root canal therapy or endodontics is the specialty in dentistry that treats the soft tissue, also known as the pulp, and small passages called canals that house the blood vessels and nerves. The need for a root canal comes when the pulp becomes inflamed for any reason such as trauma to the tooth or when decay reaches the nerve and causes the tissue to become necrotic. When this happens, you more than likely get a toothache and sometimes even swelling and/or an abscess. This is where the notion of root canals being painful comes from because often needing the procedure is normally more painful than the actual therapy.
So, are root canals painful? The short answer is no, they are not. However, the sensitivity you may have before and the possibility of feeling “bruised” afterwards can cause some discomfort. Endodontists are in the business of pain relieve and will advise you on how to stay comfortable while the tooth and surrounding structures heal.