DiseaseHealth Care

What Is A Root Canal? What A Root Canal Looks Like?

Story Highlights
  • What is a Root Canal?
  • When is a Root Canal Needed?
  • What Happens During Root Canal Process?
  • What Are Common Failed Root Canal Symptoms?

What is a root canal?- Bacteria can sometimes get into the pulp of a tooth and create an infection. Root canal therapy is required to save the tooth when this happens.

The infected pulp is removed and the tooth is sealed to avoid reinfection during this operation.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental operation that relieves pain from a tooth that has become infected or abscessed. The inflammatory pulp is removed even during root canal procedure.

Afterwards when, the internal parts of the tooth are cleansed and sterilized, and a filling is inserted to close the gap.

When is a Root Canal Needed?

When oral germs infect the pulp within your tooth, root canal treatment is needed. This is most common when a cavity is left untreated across an extended period of time.

It could also happen if your tooth is broken or damaged as a result of trauma.

Symptoms That Indicate You May Need Root Canal Treatment

You might well be unaware that you have an infected tooth in some circumstances. However, many people will be aware of some signs or symptoms. You may require a root canal if you get any of the following symptoms.


Tooth pain that won’t go away

Tooth pain can be caused by a variety of dental issues. You may need root canal therapy if you feel discomfort deep in your tooth. You may also experience discomfort in your jaw, cheeks, or other teeth.

Heat and cold sensitivity

If your tooth suffers when you drink hot coffee or eat ice cream, you may need therapy. This is particularly true if the discomfort lasts more than a few seconds.

Swollen gums

When a tooth becomes infected, pus can build up around it. Gums that are puffy, inflamed, or sensitive are a result of this.

Pimple on the gums

You can get a pimple or a boil on your gums. The pimple may drain pus from the infected tooth, leaving an unpleasant taste or odor.

Swollen jaw

Sometimes pus does not flow from the location, resulting in a swollen jaw. As a result, your jaw may swell noticeably.

Tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration occurs when the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, resulting in a darker appearance. This is caused by a lack of blood supply to the tooth.

Pain when pressure is applied

If you experience discomfort when you chew or touch your teeth, it’s possible that the nerves surrounding the pulp have been destroyed.

A chipped or cracked tooth

Bacteria can reach all the way into the tooth pulp if you chip or crack a tooth in an accident, while playing sports, or even by biting down on anything hard.

Loose tooth

A loose tooth is one that has become infected. This is due to the fact that the fluid from an infected pulp can soften the tooth’s supporting bone.

What Happens During Root Canal Process?

Your healthcare professional will take dental X-rays of the afflicted tooth before beginning the procedure.

This aids in determining the amount of the damage and ensuring that root canal therapy is the best course of action. During your root canal operation, you will go through the following steps:



First, the affected tooth and surrounding gums are numbed using local anesthetic. Nitrous oxide, oral sedatives, and intravenous (IV) sedation are all drugs used in dentistry to help you relax. If you have dental anxiety, your healthcare practitioner may suggest sedation.

Dental dam placement

A tiny rubber dam is inserted over the area before this treatment begins. This keeps the tooth dry and isolates it during the treatment.

Access hole

The pulp is then accessed through a small incision in the crown of the tooth.

Pulp removal

The nerves, blood arteries, and tissues within the tooth are extracted with tiny dental devices.

Shaping the canals

The pulp chamber and root canals are cleansed, disinfected, and shaped after the pulp is removed.

Filling the canals

The empty canals are subsequently replaced with gutta-percha, a flexible, rubbery dental material.

Sealing the tooth

The tooth is then sealed with a temporary tooth filling to avoid contamination from re-entering.

Placing the final restoration

To safeguard the repaired tooth and maintain your bite, you’ll almost always need a dental crown. Crowns are manufactured to order, and the process takes two to three weeks.

The provisional filling is withdrawn as well as the permanent crown is put when your crown is ready. In some cases, you might well be able to get a crown and a filling at the same time.

Root Canal Recovery

For a few hours after a root canal, your mouth will be numb. Most people can return to work, school, or other activities immediately. Before eating, you might wish to wait until the numbness is gone.

The tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days after a root canal because of tissue inflammation, especially if there was discomfort or infection prior to the operation. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen can usually help (Aleve).

Avoid chewing with the tooth until the root canal operation is completed and a permanent filling or crown is in place. This keeps the area clean and may prevent a delicate tooth from fracturing before it can be fixed completely.

Brush, floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash as usual, and visit your dentist at your regular intervals.

What Are The Advantages of Having A Root Canal Procedure?

Choosing this therapy has a number of advantages. This treatment may be used to:

  • Ensure that the illness does not spread to other teeth.
  • Reduce the signs and symptoms of an infected tooth.
  • Reduce your chances of breaking your jaw.
  • Extraction of teeth is no longer necessary.

What Are Common Failed Root Canal Symptoms?

In some circumstances, root canal problems can emerge. This is especially true if your tooth has been broken beyond repair. Symptoms of a failed root canal include:

  • Pain.
  • Gums that are swollen.
  • Drainage or pus.
  • Discoloration of the teeth.
  • On the gums, there is a pimple or a boil.
  • Problems with the sinuses.

What Are The Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment?

Tooth extraction is the sole alternative to root canal therapy. Despite the fact that it is preferable to conserve natural teeth wherever possible, extraction may be necessary to maintain your dental health.

If this therapy isn’t an option, the tooth can be removed and replaced with a dental implant, bridge, or partial. Call your healthcare provider to learn more about root canal versus extraction.

Do Root Canals Hurt?

Many people are concerned that this therapy would result in tooth pain. However, when the infection’s source is removed during the procedure, most people get instant relief. If you have throbbing pain following this, contact your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible.

Root Canal Cost

The cost is determined by the severity of the disease and the tooth involved. Endodontic treatment is covered in some form by many dental insurance coverage.

A ballpark estimate for a root canal treatment performed by a general dentist (without including a dental restoration after the procedure) could range from $500 to $1,000 for an incisor and $800 to $1,500 for a molar. Endodontists may charge up to 50% more than general dentists.

Read Also: 12 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Root Canal Prevention

Because significant decay, repeated dental operations, or big fillings can cause the nerve and pulp of a tooth to become inflamed and infected, there are precautions you can take to avoid a root canal:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice every day.
  • At least once a day, floss your teeth.
  • Avoid sports-related injuries by using a mouth guard.
  • See your dentist on a regular basis.


It’s frightening to have tooth ache or a swollen jaw. Root canal therapy, on the other hand, can eliminate illness at its source, allowing you to feel well soon. Call your healthcare practitioner right away if you feel you have an infected or abscessed tooth. Treatment as soon as possible can stop the infection from spreading and ease your pain, allowing you to return to your daily routine.


The information on this site is provided solely for educational reasons and is not intended to replace medical treatment provided by a healthcare professional. Because each person’s needs are different, the reader should check with their doctor to see if the material is appropriate for them.

People May Ask 3

Q- Is it safe to have a root canal?

A- Root canal therapy is thought to be both safe and effective. The success rate of this operation is as high as 98 percent.

Q- What if my root canal doesn’t work?

A- Your healthcare professional will discuss your choices with you if your root canal fails. It retreatment may be possible in some circumstances. Alternatively, it may be time to consider other options.

Q- Is it possible to drive after a root canal?

A- It is debatable. You can drive yourself to and from your appointment if you got local anesthetic or nitrous oxide during your operation. People who opt for oral or IV sedation will require the assistance of a friend or family member to drive them home.

Q- What are some recommendations for root canal aftercare?

A- It’s critical to keep the region clean after root canal therapy. To keep germs at bay, brush and floss regularly and use an antimicrobial mouthwash. If you still have a temporary filling on your tooth and haven’t gotten your permanent crown, don’t chew on it until the crown is in place.

Q- How long do root canal treatments last?

A- Results are not guaranteed with any dental operation. When root canal therapy is done correctly, however, the effects might last a long time – potentially your entire life.

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