What Is a Root Canal?
Do you need a root canal to save your tooth? Are root canals painful? You don't have to dread getting this procedure done. With the help of numbing medicine, you shouldn't have any severe pain. You do have to take good care of your mouth after the treatment, and you may experience some post-procedure discomfort, but nothing that an over the counter pain reliever could not ease. You can take the worry and fear out of the equation by focusing on turning your oral health around. The term “root canal” can refer to both the inner part (passages) of the tooth between the pulp and tooth roots, and to the dental procedure used to remove infected material and relieve root canal pain. The root canals contain nerves and blood vessels. Once an adult tooth has emerged from the gums, the tooth’s nerve doesn’t serve a specific purpose other than sensing heat, cold, and other stimuli. Removing a nerve in an infected tooth is part of a standard procedure to treat teeth pain caused by decay or infection in the tooth pulp.
Before: We have developed the following list to assist you as you prepare for your root canal appointment:Please ensure that you have your current insurance information before your appointment.
Pre-medicate, if you normally do, before dental appointments.
Eat regular meals before your appointment, unless having I.V. sedation.
If you are given X-rays or a referral card by your general dentist, please bring them to your appointment.
Please contact our office for any questions about payment requirements before your appointment.
You can save additional time by filling out our patient registration form before your appointment.
A root canal is a multi-step dental procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp (and sometimes the nerve) from a tooth, and sealing it to protect against future teeth pain.
Here’s what you can expect when you have a root canal procedure to relieve root canal pain:
To treat the infection in the root canal, the bacteria need to be removed.
This can be done by either:
removing the bacteria from the root canal system (root canal treatment)
removing the tooth (extraction)
But removing the tooth is not usually recommended as it's better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible.
After the bacteria have been removed, the root canal is filled and the tooth sealed with a filling or crown.
In most cases the inflamed tissue near the tooth will heal naturally.
Before having root canal treatment, you'll usually be given a local anaesthetic.
This means the procedure should be painless and no more unpleasant than having a filling.
Root canal treatment is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.
Find out how root canal treatment is done
The infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal) is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth.
This can happen after:
damage to teeth as a result of trauma, such as a fall
It's important to look after your teeth when recovering from root canal treatment.
You should avoid biting on hard foods until your treatment is complete.
After your final treatment, your restored tooth should no longer be painful, although it may feel sensitive for a few days.
You can take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to relieve any discomfort.
Return to your dentist if you still have pain or swelling after using painkillers.
In most cases it's possible to prevent the need for further root canal treatment by:
keeping your teeth clean
not eating too much sugary food
giving up smoking if you smoke
Find out more about dental health
Sometimes, however, the damage is too deep or the enamel is too frail to withstand the procedure. These factors can lead to loss of the tooth. Another risk is developing an abscess at the root of the tooth if some of the infected material remains behind or if the antibiotics aren't effective