Root Canal Therapy : Causes, Procedure, Recovery

posted byMuse Dental GroupOctober 27, 2020

If you are struggling with pain from a broken or decayed tooth, it is likely that you will need a root canal.

Although the process may seem intimidating, it is a very common procedure and will helpfully restore your tooth.

In this article, you will learn about:

What is Root Canal Therapy

A root canal itself is part of the tooth, which can become infected or inflamed.

Root canals are pathways in the tooth that are very thin, the size of needles. Within those canals, there are blood vessels and nerve tissues.

The procedure in which bacteria or infection is removed from this part of the mouth is also called a root canal.

If a tooth has become decayed or is broken, the blood supply or nerve supply is exposed and can become infected. As this gets worse, it can cause an extreme amount of pain.

The root canal procedure cleanses and shapes the canals by taking out the nerve tissue and blood supply, disinfecting it, and finally, filling the cleaned canals.

What Would Cause Someone To Need a Root Canal

There are a number of reasons a patient needs a root canal, but because a patient does not feel symptoms until the problem has progressed, it is imperative to see your dentist regularly.

Although determining if you need a root canal can be very difficult, and often can only be diagnosed by a dentist, here are some important signs to look out for:

If you feel persistent pain that inhibits you from eating, drinking, or functioning as you normally would, this could be due to inflamed or infected blood vessels and nerves in the root canal.

Additionally, you should see your dentist if you chip or crack a tooth. The broken tooth can leave nerves exposed and lead to an infection that would require a root canal.

Another sign you should look out for is hypersensitivity to hot or cold drinks or food. If a tooth is infected, putting it in contact with hot or cold food or drink can cause extreme pain.

Similarly, if your teeth are extremely sensitive to pressure, this could also be a sign that you need a root canal.

If looking for physical signs of an infected tooth, be aware of dark or discolored teeth. This is often a sign of poor hygiene, which leads to tooth decay, and could also be a sign of nerve damage below the surface of your tooth.

Another one of the most common reasons for needing a root canal is if the tooth is heavily decayed. This happens when a cavity is not treated properly and therefore spreads into the root of the tooth.

Root Canal Procedure

A root canal can be an intimidating procedure, therefore knowing what the procedure entails might make the process less scary and help you approach it with less uncertainty.

So, to give you a head start, we are going to outline what you should expect from a root canal procedure .

Before the treatment, the dentist will take an x-ray so that they can examine the area where the procedure will occur.

The dentist will then inject the area with a local anesthetic (a numbing shot) so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure. You can expect there to be a pinch where the shot is administered, but you should not feel any extreme pain.

Next, to keep the area clean, the dentist will place a dental dam over the infected tooth to protect it during the procedure.

Then the actual root canal can begin and should take a total of about 90 minutes.

First, the dentist will drill into the top of the tooth, exposing the nerves and blood vessels. The tooth pulp, made of the tooth tissue and nerves, is then removed.

Next, the root canal will be disinfected and thoroughly cleaned, and then reshaped in a process called dental filing to create room for a filling to be placed. The area is then cleaned again and dried before the next step.

Your dentist will then treat the area with an antimicrobial solution to treat the infection and prevent future infections. If the infection is severe, the tooth will be left at this step for a few days until the infection has fully drained.

Then, it is filled with a flexible rubberized material, and the root becomes a solid mass with filled canals.

Finally, the dentist places a filling over the tooth to protect it.

Recovery After a Root Canal

After your root canal procedure, it is important to follow the steps outlined by your dentist to ensure a full recovery.

Right after the procedure, be aware of chewing or eating on the treated tooth, and stick to eating soft foods.

Since the area will continue to be sensitive after the procedure, you may want to take some painkillers to alleviate the pain, and your dentist might also prescribe antibiotics to help mitigate any remaining infection.

In general, you should maintain good dental hygiene such as brushing and flossing twice a day and continue to visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings!


If you require a root canal, do not be intimated! With treatment from the dentists at Muse Dental , your tooth will be back to normal and fully functioning before you know it!

Here at Muse Dental, we want to help you maintain your oral health and provide you with the best care possible.

If you are due for a dental cleaning and exam or, are feeling some pain that needs to be treated, schedule your appointment with us today!

We’d love to have you for a checkup at Muse Dental Group with Dr. G. Bardakjian. He will evaluate your oral health and will ensure your cleaning is done with the utmost care.

Your smile is in great hands at Muse Dental Group!

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