All You need to Know About Root Canals - Holladay Family Dental
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All You need to Know About Root Canals

All You need to Know About Root Canals

There is more to your tooth than the enamel. Beneath the white, glossy coating, there is dental pulp, which is composed of blood vessels and nerves that keep the tooth nourished. When this pulp becomes infected, it could cause the tooth to rot. In an effort to save the tooth without removing it, the infected pulp is removed, and the inside cleaned thoroughly. This procedure is what we know as a root canal.

What could cause pulp infection?

The most common reasons for pulp infection include:

  • Repeated procedures on the same tooth-they disrupt the normal formation of the tooth.
  • Severe tooth decay.
  • Trauma to the face.
  • Large fillings.

What happens if the infected pulp is not removed?

If you do not seek medical attention for the infected pulp, it could result in an abscessed tooth. The abscess (a puss-filled pocket at the root of the tooth) is the product of the accumulation and multiplication of bacteria in the pulp. If you let this go on for too long, you could have no other option than to have the tooth removed.

The bacteria infection could get even further than the root of your teeth. It could spread and affect the skin and cause the neck to swell.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

You are ideal for root canals when:

  • You suffer an incessant toothache especially when you apply pressure to the tooth.
  • Your teeth become unbearably sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
  • The gum swells and becomes tender.
  • Your teeth discolor.

If you suffer any or all of these symptoms, you may want to ask yourself, ‘do i need a root canal?’ If you do, you may want to gather as much root canal information as you possibly can from your dentist and online.

The Procedure

It is prudent to gather as much root canal information as possible before going in for the routine. When you go for a root canal to save your damaged tooth, your dentist will:

Perform an x-ray

It is done to determine the extent of the damage. The dentist will also be seeking to find out whether the surrounding bones have been affected. The routine does not hurt because the nerves are already dead, but most dentists will still use local anesthesia to keep you relaxed and comfortable.


After the x-ray, the dentist will then place a rubber dam to keep the area free of saliva. They will then drill a hole into the tooth and remove the infected pulp along with any collected debris. The dentist will then use root files to clean the sides of the root canals and to rid your tooth of the infected pulp.


It is the final step in the procedure. Some dentists will seal the tooth the same day while some will wait to do it later. If the dentist does not seal it on the same day, they may fill it to prevent contamination.

Is the procedure painful?

Most patients report that a root canal is no more painful than a tooth filling. Your dentist will also use local anesthesia, which will ease most of the discomfort.  The essence of having a root canal procedure is to save your damaged tooth. 90 percent of teeth concerns could be addressed through root canals as opposed to taking a more permanent route-removal.