Root Canal Therapy: How it is Done by Your Dentist?

by | Sep 22, 2015 | Dental Emergency, Dental Health

It’s very common for people to compare having a root canal to some of the most painful experiences in life.  The truth is that root canal therapy is far less painful than many of the conditions that make it necessary.  A little education about what is involved in having a root canal can go a long way toward relieving your fears.


If you’re extremely anxious about having a root canal, you can talk to your dentist about having sedation before and during the procedure.  Your dentist can prescribe sedative medications for you to take before the dental procedure.  Then, during the root canal, you can receive nitrous oxide or other forms of sedation as recommended by your dentist.


Your dentist will begin the procedure by administering local anesthetic to the area around the tooth in question. This is a necessary part of the treatment.  Fortunately, a dentist who is skilled in giving injections can make this a nearly painless procedure.

Cleaning the Canal

After the tooth is isolated and the area is numbed, your dentist begins to clean the pulp out of the tooth.  You might notice that the dentist uses several small files of different sizes and shapes.  This allows him or her to hollow out the canal.  This relieves pressure and pain, removes damaged pulp, and can save the tooth.

Filling Up the Canal

Next, your dentist fills up the canal with a rubber-like compound called gutta-percha.  Gutta-percha takes the place of the connective tissue that once filled the canal so your tooth won’t be painful in the future.

Adding a Filling

In some cases, the tooth will also need a standard tooth filling like you would have if you had a simple cavity.  After the gutta-percha is in place, the dentist will add a filling like amalgam or resin on top of the gutta-percha.

Fitting for a Crown

Covering your tooth with a crown can save your tooth’s structural integrity so it lasts a long time into the future.  If you need a crown to protect your tooth, your dentist then takes an impression of the tooth and surrounding teeth so your crown can be made in the dental lab.  He or she will cover the tooth with a temporary crown that can stay in place until the permanent crown is ready to place on the tooth.

Multiple Root Canals

If you’ve injured several teeth, or if you have several large cavities, your dentist might need to do more than one root canal. If so, they will be done on separate visits to the dental office.  You won’t be expected to sit through a series of root canals at one time.

Is There Any Pain?

Because you’re numbed and possibly sedated, you won’t feel pain during the procedure.  You might notice some other physical sensations such as pressure, but little or no pain.  After the procedure is over, your dentist will tell you how to take care of the tooth during the next few days.  The bottom line is that patients are usually so relieved that the untreated pain is over that they feel better, not worse, after the procedure.

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