what to expect when getting a root canal therapy

posted byMuse Dental GroupApril 20, 2021

If you have been experiencing persistent pain around a specific tooth or in your jaw, root canal therapy is a likely solution.

A very common procedure, root canal therapy helps mitigate the pain of a tooth that has been inflamed due to decay or infection in the pulp.

In this article, we are going to be discussing the following:

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal therapy is a dental treatment that helps heal infected, decaying teeth.

To better understand this, let’s talk about some dental anatomy!

Your teeth are made of three layers, with enamel on the outside, the dentin in the middle, and a core that extends into the gums and jawbone, also known as the pulp.

Root canal therapy is necessary when that core, made of nerve and tissue, is infected as the procedure cleans out this tissue.

By removing the infected pulp, a dentist or endodontist is able to restore the tooth and save it from having to be removed.

How to Tell if You Need a Root Canal

If you are unsure about whether you need a root canal or not, please visit your dentist for a checkup.

However, the following symptoms could be a sign that you need a root canal.

First, if you are feeling a constant pain in your tooth that cannot be relieved, you may need a root canal. While this pain may increase or decrease, it does not completely go away and can be felt in the teeth, gums, and jaw.

Another sign that you may need a root canal is if your teeth have an increased sensitivity to temperature. For example, if you feel severe pain after biting into something cold, this could mean the blood vessels and nerves in your mouth are damaged.

Third, if your teeth become discolored, you may need a root canal since infection leads to discoloration.

While there are many reasons your teeth may be discolored, if you are experiencing this symptom in conjunction with any of the others mentioned, it is a good idea to visit your dentist.

Additionally, swollen gums can signal the need for a root canal, whether the swelling causes pain or not.

Fourth, if your tooth cracks or chips, bacteria can get into the root and lead to infection. Or, if you injure your tooth and the surrounding nerves, inflammation can occur and may require root canal therapy.

Finally, if your tooth is wiggling, this may be a sign of infection as the bone often softens as a result of nerve death.

If multiple teeth are loose, likely, a root canal is not the solution. However, if one tooth seems to be loose and you notice any of the other symptoms mentioned, root canal therapy might be necessary.

The Root Canal Process

Root canal therapy can be done by a dentist or endodontist, or a dentist who specializes in treating the dental pulp.

We are going to explain each step of the root canal therapy process, which can be done in either one or two visits to your dentist.

First, your dentist will examine the infected area and take an x-ray to determine if root canal therapy is needed.

Then, the dentist will numb the area with an injection to ensure you do not feel any pain during the procedure.

Once the area is numbed, the dentist will drill through the top of the tooth to access the infected pulp inside, which the dentist will then clean out. The canal is also disinfected to help get rid of the bacteria and treat the infection.

Next, the dentist will shape the canal so that a filling can be placed inside to protect the canal from bacteria and further infection.

Finally, in some cases, the patient may also need to get a crown on the tooth to help strengthen the tooth. This is done during a different appointment and is usually necessary for the back teeth where the patient will likely chew.

What To Expect From Root Canal Therapy

One common concern is the pain involved with root canal therapy.

However, since a local anesthetic will be injected prior to the procedure, the patient should not feel any pain while the root canal is taking place. In many cases, root canal therapy is done is help relieve pain.

After the procedure, the tooth may feel sensitive, however, this should subside within a few days.

Additionally, you may be wondering if root canal therapy requires aftercare.

In general, it is important to not eat or chew on the tooth that has been treated until it is fully protected by a crown. Similarly, avoid eating any hard foods until the swelling subsides.

Additionally, as will all dental care procedures, it is crucial to maintain good dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly.


If you have been experiencing symptoms that you believe require root canal therapy, make an appointment with your dentist today for a check-up.

The dentists at Muse Dental will evaluate your case and decide whether or not root canal therapy is the best solution for your case.

Here at Muse Dental, we want to help mitigate any pain or discomfort you are feeling with the best care possible. We will ensure that your root canal therapy is done with care and will guide you through the entire process.

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