What to Expect from a Dental Root Canal Procedure

tooth pain

So you just found out you need a root canal?

Before you start breaking out into a sweat, it's best to know that most of the pain people associate with root canals is the pain they experience before the actual procedure. The root canal itself is a comparatively pain-free dental procedure that takes place when the nerve of the tooth has become infected. Additionally, root canals are very effective, with a 95% success rate.

Some signs you may need a root canal include:

  • A severe toothache, especially when applying pressure to the tooth.
  • Pain after hot or cold foods that persists.
  • Darkening of a tooth.
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums near the tooth.

Your root canal procedure usually takes place over the course of two office visits with our dental experts. During the procedure, which you can expect to take about 2 hours, the dentist will take x-rays and administer local anesthesia.

A small hole is made in the tooth, through which decay, bacteria, and related pulp and debris is removed. Once your tooth has been meticulously cleaned, the tooth is sealed the same day or at the next appointment. If waiting until the next appointment, the dentist will place a temporary filling in the tooth. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to treat any infection that is found.

Once the filling is placed, one of our dentists will place a crown or other restorative piece on the tooth to protect it. For a few days after the procedure, you may feel some pressure and sensitivity. This is common and usually controlled with over-the-counter pain medication.

Once you have had a root canal, you may continue general oral health care as you did before including brushing and flossing, and continuing to see your dentist regularly.

If you have been dealing with pain and feel that you may need a root canal, contact us to be seen by our dental experts at Valley Dental Care.