illustration of what the interior of a tooth looks like

What happens during a root canal?

Once the local anesthetic has been administered into the gums, a small hole must be created in the top of the tooth so the inside of the tooth can be accessed. Then, the dental pulp, or the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, must be cleaned out, and the inside of the tooth is sealed. After the infection has been treated and the tooth is restored, a dental restoration like a dental crown must be placed over it to protect the tooth from further damage.

How will I know if I need a root canal?

There are a few signs that can indicate that a tooth infection is present, but the only way to know for sure if you need a root canal is by having your tooth assessed by an experienced dental professional. Some common signs that you need a root canal include:

  • Painful Toothache
  • Sudden Tooth Sensitivity
  • Darkening of Tooth
  • Gum Swelling
  • Bump on Gums Near Tooth
woman in dental chair speaking with her dentist

Are root canals painful?

Patients will sometimes put off receiving a root canal treatment because they are scared of the pain that it may cause. In actuality, root canals are completely painless procedures, and from the patient’s perspective, are not very different from having a cavity filled. A local anesthetic is always used to completely numb the teeth and gums, and you may feel some pressure on their tooth, but no pain. Any pain or discomfort after the procedure shouldn’t be anything that over-the-counter pain medication can’t relieve.

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