08 Apr 2020

How do you kill the nerve in a tooth?

How do you kill the nerve in a tooth?

The best remedy is to visit your dentist

When we suffer from toothache, it is something so intense that it leads us to quickly search the Internet for advice on what we can do to solve it.

The net is full of folk remedies for toothache. Some can help relieve the pain until you can go to the visit with your dentist and others, on the other hand, do not really work and can even complicate the situation.

In any case, it will be momentary solutions, since if you feel pain, the sensitivity to cold or very hot foods and drinks has been accentuated, and you notice discomfort when chewing, it is most likely that there is some type of pathology in one of your teeth that puts your dental health at risk.


If to these symptoms, in a short time, the inflammation of the affected area and / or an infection on the inner face of the tooth is added, it will be necessary to resort to – as it is popularly said – to kill the nerve of that tooth.

Although the expression may be somewhat unpleasant, the reality is that endodontics – its medical term – is a very simple dental procedure that is practiced very often in dentists’ offices.

Why do we say “killing the nerve of a tooth”?

First, we are going to stop at the meaning of this expression, and that is that this procedure consists of the elimination of the damaged nerve from within the root of the tooth.

This implies that we get rid of it and clean the infected area to avoid, on the one hand, that both infection and dental pain spread; on the other hand, keep the tooth in perfect condition and thus not have to remove the tooth.

kill the nerve in a tooth

How is the nerve of a tooth killed?

The procedure to perform a root canal on a tooth does not differ much from the one that your dentist would follow when treating an infection in any other tooth.

Even so, we will see the step by step to kill a nerve of a tooth, and we leave you this recent article in case you have doubts about root canals.

How to kill a nerve step by step

  • The first step is to perform a cleaning in the affected area to eliminate the bacteria, ensuring that there are no remains of the infection. This point is very important in the event that there are cavities, since we must avoid any trace in order that it does not reproduce again.
  • The second step will consist of accessing the inner part of the tooth – the pulp chamber of the tooth – that houses the vessels and ducts and removing the infected pulp.
  • After the extraction, a cleaning of the area would be carried out again, trying, at the same time, to mold it to accommodate the piece that will occupy the space left by the soft tissue removed.
  • Finally, your dentist will fill and seal the small hole used to practice the extraction.

Does it hurt to kill the nerve of a tooth?

It is important to note that all this intervention lasts a few minutes and is performed under the effect of local anesthesia, so that the patient will not notice any pain or effect during endodontics.

This sedation effect will also be maintained after the operation so that the discomfort that may arise from it will appear later.

The pain in the treated area can be extended 4 or 5 days, it will be your specialist who told you what treatment – usually based on analgesics and antibiotics – should follow in your case.


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    Dra. Anaïs Ramírez Sebastià

    Dr. Anaïs Ramírez Sebastià is a specialist in Endodontics and Restorative Dentistry. She holds a degree in Dentistry from the UIC, a PhD in Dentistry and a master's degree in Endodontics. She currently teaches as an associate professor at UIC in the Department of Endodontics and Restorative Dentistry. Dr. Anaïs is also member of the Spanish Society of Endodontics and regularly publishes in national and international specialised journals.


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