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Root Canal

When you have an intense toothache, it is natural to assume you will need a root canal. But what is a root canal?

A tooth is made up of 3 layers. When you have a cavity in one of the outer two layers, it is fixed with a filling. But when the cavity goes into the inner layer, a filling can no longer fix the problem and a root canal must be done (which is why it is so important to get regular checkups to catch and treat cavities early).

Root Canal Process

A root canal involves filling the tooth all the way to the end of the root. In terms of your experience, the main difference between a filling and a root canal is that the root canal takes a little bit longer. Otherwise, for both procedures you will be numb and we will ensure that you are comfortable. With a root canal, you might experience a little bit more soreness than after the procedure, but we will make sure you have the proper medication to help with that.

Root canals are commonly associated with pain and discomfort. The important thing to remember though is that root canals are meant to relieve pain and discomfort, and that they do not actually cause pain. By the time a tooth needs a root canal, the nerve of the tooth is infected, which as you can imagine can be quite uncomfortable. So while the thought of a root canal can be a little intimidating, it will actually help to get you out of pain and save your tooth. An infected tooth that is left untreated will eventually need to be removed, which then requires further treatment to replace the missing tooth.

Important Notes

Two more things to remember about a root canal:

  1. After a root canal, it is very important to get a crown on the tooth. A root canal makes the tooth a little bit weaker on the inside, so you need a crown to strengthen the tooth to make sure it doesn’t fracture. The crown also serves as a barrier to moisture, keeping the root canal filling dry and clean, which is important for the long term success of the root canal.
  2. You will not always feel pain on the tooth that needs a root canal. When a cavity gets into the nerve, the nerve will eventually die. There is a window of time between when the nerve dies and the tooth gets infected that you will not feel any discomfort. The progression goes likes this:

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