Root Canals 101: Our Guide

Root canals have a reputation for being incredibly painful. However, they actually aren’t as painful as you’d think. Besides, this dental procedure is a way to save your tooth and prevent the infection from spreading. Root canal treatment is needed when your teeth are infected and dying from the inside. Advancements in dentistry have allowed this procedure to become a lot less painful than it used to be. It usually can be done within one trip to the dentist, although two to three tips are sometimes necessary.


When do I need a root canal?

Root canals are dental procedures performed when the pulp inside of your tooth is infected with bacteria. This is usually a result of injury or a cavity that was never addressed. If such an infected is left untreated, it usually gets to the point where your tooth has to be extracted.

Has your dentist recommended a root canal surgery? Knowing the steps of a root canal may relieve some of your dental anxiety.

Detailed Steps of a Root Canal

1 – Preparing

The first step of this four-step process is preparing your tooth. The first thing your dentist will do is numb the area that the procedure will be carried out on. You may feel a pinching sensation when the needle enters your gums but the feeling will fade as the numbing solution comes into effect. After making sure you don’t feel pain around the area, your dentist will put a dental dam on your tooth. This small sheet of rubber isolates your tooth and keeps it separated from the rest of your mouth so that it doesn’t get wet and contaminated during the procedure.

2 – Cleaning

At this point, an opening will be made inside your tooth. A tiny drill is usually used to open up a hole in the top portion of your tooth. Your dentist will then clean or scrape out the damaged and diseased parts of your pulp. The inner chamber will be shaped with some tools and rinsed with clean water to get out any residue. An antimicrobial solution is usually used as well to eliminate any of the lingering bacteria and reduce the risk of reinfection.

3 – Filling

After the hole in your tooth has been cleaned and dried, it’s time for it to be filled. Gutta-percha, a root canal filling material, is used. Your dentist will then either seal the opening with a temporary or a permanent crown.

4 – Stabilizing

In most cases, a permanent crown is installed a couple of weeks after the cleaning and filling procedure. There may also be a small supporting post put inside your root chamber that will further strengthen the crown.

How do I care for my teeth after a root canal?

It’s crucial to take care of your teeth and gums after a root canal. Your dentist will most likely schedule a follow-up visit to make sure that you are healing well. Make sure you visit your dentist for regular biannual cleanings as well. And of course, maintain good oral hygiene habits. Aside from brushing twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride, make sure you floss daily!

You may never have to experience a root canal ever again if you take some time making sure your teeth are clean and healthy.


Tee Family Dental is a local dental office in Perth that can help solve root canal issues – get in touch today to see how we can help.

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