What Is a Root Canal?

Did you know by 2028, it is anticipated that the North American root canal market will increase to $525.8 million?

Tooth pain or tooth discomfort can range from mild to excruciating. And no one likes the feeling. No matter the cause, you’ll want to treat the pain as soon as you notice it to keep it from getting worse.

When a root canal is a solution for your tooth pain, you’ll need to get the treatment done ASAP.

What is a root canal procedure, though? Keep reading to learn more about root canals and what makes them beneficial for your oral health.

What Is A Root Canal?

An infected or severely decaying tooth may need a root canal procedure to be repaired and saved. Dentists do this type of procedure, but sometimes endodontists (specialists who treat problems with the pulp or nerve of the tooth) perform the root canal.

If you’re googling for the “best dentist in my area,” check out here for more info, they show care for their patients by creating a relaxing and comfortable environment. Root canals are often successful in saving teeth that would otherwise be lost.

However, some potential side effects can occur, such as pain, swelling, and infection. These side effects are usually temporary and can be treated with medication.

The Causes Of Root Canals

There are many causes of root canals, but the most common is tooth decay. The decay can cause the nerve and blood supply to the tooth to become infected. When decay reaches the innermost layer of your tooth, called the pulp, it can cause an infection.

This can lead to an abscess, which is a pus-filled sac forming at the root of the tooth. Also, the infection can lead to severe pain and eventually death of the tooth.

Additionally, root canals are usually the result of trauma to the tooth. It can damage the nerve, and this can happen if you crack or chip your tooth. Other causes of root canals include exposed tooth roots and gum disease.

When To Seek Treatment

There are a few symptoms that indicate you may need root canal treatment. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation.

A root canal may be necessary if you exhibit the following symptoms:

Pus Drainage

When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, it can cause the tooth to form a pocket of pus. This pus can drain out through the root of the tooth, causing a noticeable discharge, and a foul smell usually accompanies this.

If you can’t treat the pus drainage, it can lead to serious health complications, including sepsis.

Severe Toothache

If you experience pain when chewing or have severe pain in your tooth that persists even after taking pain medication, you may need a root canal treatment.

This is because when the nerve in your tooth becomes irritated, it can cause pain that radiates to other parts of your mouth, including your gums and jaw.

Pimple On The Gums

When a pimple or other eruption occurs on the gums, it may be an indicator that you must have a root canal treatment. The pimple may be a reaction to an infection that has developed in the tooth’s root canal.

If left untreated, the infection can cause consequential damage to the tooth and surrounding tissues.

Discoloration Of The Tooth

The tooth may appear yellow, brown, or black and may go with other symptoms such as pain or sensitivity. While there are many reasons a tooth may become discolored, one potential cause is if the pulp becomes infected, which can cause the tooth to discolor.

Sensitivity To Hot And Cold

Symptoms of dental nerve inflammation include sharp pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. The pain is due to the expansion and contraction of the dental nerve in response to changes in temperature.

When the nerve is inflamed, the pain is more intense because the nerve is more sensitive. Sensitivity to hot and cold can be a sign that it damaged the pulp and you need a root canal treatment.

Swelling And Tenderness In The Gums

The root canal handles the health of the tooth. When it is damaged or infected, it can cause the gums to become inflamed. It is also responsible for the drainage of the tooth, and when blocked, it can also cause the gums to swell.

The Root Canal Diagnosis

If you are looking for a root canal diagnosis, the first thing you need to do is consult with your dentist. They will be able to take x-rays of your mouth and look for any signs of infection.

Once they have confirmed that you need a root canal, they will ask you to perform a root canal procedure.

The Procedure Of A Root Canal

The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected tissue from inside the tooth, including the pulp and nerve, cleaning and shaping the inside and then sealing it. The dentist will take an x-ray of the tooth to determine the extent of the damage.

Once they discover the damage, they will numb the tooth with local anesthesia. Then they will access the inside of the tooth by making a small opening in the top.

The dentists will remove the pulp and nerve, and clean and disinfect them. After removing the pulp, they will fill the tooth with a rubbery material called gutta-percha. This helps to seal the tooth and prevent further infection.

Finally, they will seal the tooth with a filling or crown, which helps to protect it from further damage and to restore it to its original shape and function.

The Benefits Of A Root Canal

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed today. Below are the many benefits of having root canal therapy.

Relieving Pain

An infected tooth can be very painful. A root canal can be a great way to relieve the pain of an infected tooth. This pain can be caused by bacteria that have entered the tooth through a crack or damage to the tooth.

Saving Your Tooth

When the pulp (the living tissue inside your tooth) becomes infected, it can cause your tooth to die. A root canal treatment removes the infected pulp, allowing you to keep your tooth.

Keep Your Natural Smile

Keeping your natural smile is essential to your overall health and well-being. A root canal prevents the tooth from needing to be extracted, which can lead to a gap in your smile and help save your natural grin.

Provide A Long-term Solution

Root canal therapy is a very successful procedure and can provide you with a long-term solution. By removing the damaged tissue and cleaning out the infection, you can avoid the need for more extensive dental work in the future.

Preserve Your Natural Tooth Structure

It is important to understand that the root canal procedure does not remove the entire tooth. The root canal procedure can preserve your natural tooth structure and prevent the need for an artificial tooth.

The Drawbacks Of A Root Canal

Although root canals can be successful in saving teeth, there are some drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages of having a root canal procedure:


Root canal procedures can be quite painful and may require sedation. This can be a drawback for some people, as they may not want to be sedated for the treatment.

The procedure involves drilling into the tooth to remove the damaged pulp. This can be uncomfortable for the patient and can also cause the person to have a headache, dizziness, and nausea.


One of the most common questions about root canals is how expensive they can be. Root canals can be costly, and sometimes insurance will not cover the entire cost.

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering the cost of a root canal, such as the severity of the damage, the location of the tooth, and the experience of the dentist. With these factors in mind, the average cost of a root canal ranges from $600 to $1500.

Additionally, the tooth may need to be crowned after a root canal and may require numerous appointments with the dentist, which can add to the cost.


A root canal can be a time-consuming process, depending on the severity of the infection and the number of teeth involved. The procedure itself can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, and the recovery period can last for several days.

In some cases, if the infection is severe, it may take multiple visits to the dentist to completely clear it.

Risks And Complications Associated

There are several possible risks and complications associated with the root canal procedure. Though they are minimal, they do exist.


If the dentist does not perform the root canal procedure properly, the chances of the tooth being re-infected are high. This can occur if they do not entirely remove the bacteria present in the infected tooth during the procedure.

If the infection is not treated promptly, it can spread to other teeth and cause serious health problems.

Also, an infection can happen if the dentist does not clean the tooth fully or if the sealant used to fill the tooth is not placed correctly. This infection can lead to pain, swelling, and fever.

Damage To The Surrounding Teeth

Another potential complication is damage to the surrounding teeth. When the dentist performs the root canal procedure, they will make a small incision in the tooth and remove the damaged pulp.

The surrounding teeth may be weakened by the procedure and more susceptible to damage.

If the damage is severe, it may require treatment with a dental crown or veneer.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage is perhaps the gravest risk. This can happen if the dentist can’t locate the nerve properly before the procedure starts. Nerve damage can cause numbness, tingling, and pain. It can also lead to paralysis of the muscles in the face.

If the nerve damage is extreme, it can even cause death.

The Root Canal Aftercare

Root canal aftercare is very significant to ensure the success of the procedure and avoid any complications. After the procedure, it is necessary to take care of your tooth.

While you may experience discomfort and swelling after the procedure, you can use ice or heat packs to help reduce these symptoms. You may need to take over-the-counter or prescription pain medication as needed.

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water starting the day after the procedure, and do this several times a day for the next week. This will help kill bacteria and reduce swelling.

Also, eat soft foods. This will help keep the pressure off of your tooth and allow it to heal properly. Avoid hard and crunchy foods and chewing on gum or ice.

It is significant to avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after a root canal procedure. It can cause increased bleeding and swelling at the site of the procedure. It can also cause dehydration, which can lead to further complications.

Alcohol can interfere with the healing process. If you must drink, drink in moderation and take breaks to allow your body to rest.

You should avoid smoking for at least a week, as it can irritate the gums and lead to infection. This will help ensure that your body heals properly and that your teeth and gums stay healthy.

Finally, see your dentist for a follow-up visit as recommended. If you experience serious symptoms, such as severe pain or fever, you should call your dentist right away.

Invest In Root Canal Today

What is a root canal? A root canal is a common dental procedure used to treat infection at the root of a tooth. It involves removing the infected tissue and filling the tooth with sterile material.

It is crucial to learn the causes, symptoms, and procedures involved in the root canal. Root canals can be an uncomfortable procedure, but the benefits far outweigh any discomfort.

If you think you may need a root canal, talk to your dentist to see if the treatment is for you.

If you’re interested in learning more, continue reading our other blog posts.

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