A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from inside a tooth and cleaning and sealing the resulting space to prevent further infection.
The steps involved in a root canal procedure typically include the following:
The entire process may take one or more visits to complete, depending on the complexity of the case. After the procedure, the tooth may be sore for a few days, but over-the-counter pain medication and proper oral hygiene can help manage any discomfort.
A root canal is necessary when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to decay, trauma, or other causes. If left untreated, this can lead to pain, abscess, and tooth loss.
Signs that you may need a root canal include persistent tooth pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling or tenderness in the gums, or discoloration of the tooth.
The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, so most patients report little to no pain during the procedure. Some discomfort and sensitivity may be experienced during the healing process.
The procedure itself usually takes 1-2 hours and may require one or more visits depending on the complexity of the case.
After the root canal, the tooth may be temporarily filled and a permanent filling or crown may be placed later. You may experience some discomfort and sensitivity in the days following the procedure, but this should subside as the tooth heals.
As with any dental procedure, there are risks associated with a root canal, including infection, damage to surrounding teeth, and complications related to anesthesia. However, these risks are rare and can usually be managed effectively.
In some cases, good oral hygiene practices and regular dental checkups can help prevent the need for a root canal. However, once the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected, a root canal is usually necessary to save the tooth.
The cost of a root canal can vary depending on the complexity of the case and other factors. Generally, it is less expensive than extracting the tooth and replacing it with a bridge or implant. Dental insurance may also cover part or all of the cost.
A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from inside a tooth and cleaning and sealing the resulting space to prevent further infection. The procedure is typically performed by an endodontist or a general dentist with specialized training.