Understanding the Process Behind Root Canal Treatment

Your dentist says you need a root canal. Should you panic?

Admittedly, the term “root canal” may sound overwhelming and scary, but there’s more to it than what you might hear. The root canal is one of the few ways to save permanent teeth with severe problems. If you need to undergo a root canal soon, this article will equip you with the facts you need to know, including what you should expect during your appointment.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is one method to restore teeth. It involves removing the decay found in your tooth’s pulp and root, preventing the inflamed or infected sections from damaging the entire tooth. It keeps your natural tooth in place but can make the tooth more fragile. Covering it with a dental crown could improve stability after your dentist conducts a root canal.

How to Know If You Would Need Root Canal

Your dentist is the best person to tell you if you need a root canal, but the following symptoms could help you recognize the problem:

  • You experience persistent pain in your teeth
  • Your tooth hurts when you eat or drink hot or cold things
  • You notice tooth discolouration
  • You have swollen gums next to your affected tooth
  • You feel pain when you use your affected tooth or even touch it
  • Your affected tooth feels looser

How It Is Done: The Step-By-Step Treatment

If a root canal treatment is the only solution, here is what you should expect:

Step 1: The X-Ray

The procedure begins with the dentist requiring an x-ray. Through an x-ray, they would know up to what extent the damage is. This step would determine what the next step is.

Step 2: Anesthesia

The dentist will administer local anesthetics to numb the tooth and its surrounding tissues. If it so happens that the pulp in a tooth is severely inflamed, it may take longer to get it numb. The dentist will not proceed with the treatment until it is.

Step 3: Removing the Decay

Once everything is okay, the next step is the removal of the decayed pulp and nerve. Usually, one session is enough to finish the job. However, there are rare cases that require more days. It depends on your tooth’s structure and pain tolerance.

A small access hole is drilled to gain access to the pulp chamber and root canals for treatment. The diseased and dead pulp tissue will be then removed, relieving the patient of the pain completely.

Step 4: Sealing the Tooth

Upon the removal of the pulp, your dentist will coat the area with a topical antibiotic. This step ensures that the site is infection-free before the canals are completely sealed. It would also prevent possible reinfection. Afterwards, your dentist will fill and seal the tooth with a sealer paste.

Step 5: (Optional) Addition of a Crown

If your tooth needs it, your dentist can place a dental crown over it to ensure that it is protected and original functionality is restored. Although not mandatory, a dental crown is encouraged to reinforce your affected tooth and restore its health. This is a particularly important step since many studies reveal that filled root canals can be recontaminated with bacteria and could cause recurrence of infection.


A root canal treatment is one way to save your tooth and prevent its condition from worsening. Although it looks like a scary process, it can be the best way to preserve your natural teeth. Whether the process is painful or not depends on your situation and tolerance for pain, which your dentist could lessen.

If you need an emergency dentist near Rabit Hill Road, contact us at Home of Smiles Dental Clinic. We are your affordable family dentist in SW Edmonton, accepting appointments seven days a week, with a flexible morning and evening schedule. Call us at 780-430-1336.