What is a Root Canal?

Two words that can create fear in anyone are root canal. But, when done correctly the thing that seems so scary can actually help relieve pain. Have you ever wondered what causes someone to need a root canal, what is root canal treatment or what can you expect if you are getting one? Below is some general information but it is always best to discuss any questions or concerns with your dentist to discover what is going on in your specific situation and the best course of action to take.

Two words that can create fear in anyone are root canal.  But, when done correctly the thing that seems so scary can actually help relieve pain. Have you ever wondered what causes someone to need a root canal, what is root canal treatment or what can you expect if you are getting one? Below is some general information but it is always best to discuss any questions or concerns with your dentist to discover what is going on in your specific situation and the best course of action to take.

The Basics of a Root Canal?

When the tooth pulp becomes infected, the dental procedure called a root canal will take place which cleans out the infected area. For reasons such as a cracked tooth or filling, cavities, tooth abscess or maybe some sort of traumatic event to the face or mouth area, infection can occur.

Oftentimes one will notice tooth pain, an elevated sensitivity to temperature in the tooth, discoloration and/or swelling and soreness in a tooth that is infected. If this describes your situation then there is a good chance a root canal is just what’s needed to fix the problem. While it may seem a bit overwhelming it is generally a rather straightforward procedure.

Steps for a Root Canal

  1. X-RAY - An x-ray is conducted to view the entire tooth and root area and to  verify the full extent of the infection.
  2. LOCAL ANESTHESIA -  A local anesthetic is administered to reduce discomfort for the patient.
  3. DENTAL DAM - A small rubber sheet is placed around the affected tooth to isolate and protect the tooth as well as keep it dry and clean during the procedure.
  4. OPENING - Using a specially designed drill, your dentist will create an opening in the top of the infected tooth which will fully expose the top of the tooth pulp. 
  5. The infection will be removed and cleaned if the tooth is able to be restored. After cleaning and shaping the inside of the tooth, a special filling is used to replace the tooth pulp to prevent reinfection and strengthen the tooth. In some cases a post is used to give additional support if the original tooth isn’t strong enough to support itself. If the infection was severe enough the tooth may be left open to drain for one or more days and a follow-up appointment will be made.
  6. FILLING or CROWN - A temporary filling, a permanent filling, or a crown will then be used depending on your particular situation.

Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is the straightforward procedure to relieve dental pain with an end goal to save your original teeth. We’ve all heard the horror stories of going to the dentist but with today’s technology the process is as quick, easy, and painless as ever before. When pain or discomfort starts it is good to get it checked as quickly as possible to help make sure the problem doesn’t get worse. 


Come See Us!!

Your best smile is the one that not only makes you look great but makes you feel great as well. Getting that perfect smile that you want doesn’t have to be a burden.

At Swish Dental we are always here to promote you and your smile. From General Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, to Invisalign and Sleep Apnea Treatment, making you smile is what makes us smile. We’d love to walk with you on your dental journey so make an appointment today!