Getting to the Root of the Problem: Root Canal 101

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Severe toothache. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Discoloration of the affected tooth. Swelling and tenderness of the gums. If any of these symptoms are familiar to you, it’s a tell-tale sign that you have an infected tooth that needs a root canal. But, have no fear—a root canal is a dental procedure that can be done quickly and effectively by a skilled endodontist. Before you know it, you’ll be smiling again without any pain!


Did you know that a root canal involves just five easy steps? Let’s take a look at what a root canal entails now.


Root Canal 101 in Five Easy Steps

In the majority of cases, a root canal is a straightforward procedure. It can be performed by a dentist or an endodontist, who perform root canals while also going to great lengths to save the natural tooth.


But what is a root canal, and what can you expect during the procedure? There are five steps involved with a typical root canal, so let’s check them out now.


  1. Your dentist or endodontist takes x-ray images of the affected tooth
  2. Your dentist or endodontist administers an anesthetic
  3. Cleaning and shaping the inside of your tooth
  4. Your tooth is resealed with adhesives
  5. Permanent crown placement


  1. Your Dentist or Endodontist Takes X-Ray Images of The Affected Tooth

Before your root canal can begin, your endodontist will want to take an x-ray of the affected tooth to get a better idea of what the inside of your tooth looks like.


  1. Your Dentist or Endodontist Administers an Anesthetic

Once your endodontist has studied your x-ray, they are ready to administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the area surrounding it, so you feel no pain during the procedure. At this point, it’s essential that you communicate with your endodontist and let them know if you feel any discomfort before they begin. Your endodontist will likely also place a protective sheet over the area to keep it clean and clear of bacteria and saliva during the procedure.


  1. Cleaning and Shaping the Inside of Your Tooth

Once the procedure begins, your endodontist will start by making a small hole in the crown of your tooth. You shouldn’t feel it, though! Once they have opened up your tooth, they will begin cleaning the pulp while also shaping your root canals for the filling they are about to insert.


  1. Your Tooth Is Resealed with Adhesives

Finally, your endodontist will begin filling your tooth with a rubber-like material to seal your root canals and close the opening of your tooth. Typically, at this stage, your endodontist will also place a temporary crown until you can return for a permanent one in a few weeks.


  1. Permanent Crown Placement

This is the only step that doesn’t happen at the same time as all the rest because it takes time to get a permanent crown made after sending off the tooth impression. Once created, your dentist or endodontist can remove the temporary crown and place the permanent one. But good news! A permanent crown can last up to 15 years if it’s well taken care of.


To schedule a consultation if you think you need a root canal pro

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