What To Expect During A Root Canal

Posted on: 4 September 2015

Root canals can be a scary procedure if you're not sure what's going to happen. Here are some steps to follow along with during your root canal.  


Anesthesia can be administered in a few ways. Your dentist will first use a cotton swab to place a local anesthesia on the surface of your gums. Next, the dentist will inject anesthesia into the tissue to numb the surrounding tissues. Your dentist will check to make sure that you're fully numb before proceeding with the root canal.

Dental Dam

The next step is to apply a dental dam that protects your exposed tooth from the bacteria in your saliva. The dental dam is composed of a rubber sheet that is clamped around your tooth, isolating it from the rest of your teeth.

Access Hole

Next, the dentist will drill a narrow hole into the tooth so that they can access the pulp. Consult your dentist if you feel too much discomfort during the drilling; you may need more anesthesia.

Removing Pulp Tissue

Once there is an access hole in the tooth, your dentist can remove the pulp and the nerves from the pulp chamber. Since you are numb and the tissue is mostly dead, you won't feel this procedure.

Disinfecting the Tooth

After your tooth is cleaned from the diseased pulp, your dentist will place an antiseptic solution in the tooth and let it sit, in order to kill bacteria that has gotten into the diseased tooth.

Sealing the Tooth

With the antiseptic medicine in place, your dentist can begin to shape the canals in order to fill them. The dentist will use tools to sense how deep the canals are, so that they can be completely sealed with the sealant. The material for the filling will be heated and pressed into the canals so that it fills the entire space.

Filling and Crown

What follows after the root canal restoration can happen in several steps. The dentist may place a temporary filling that closes the access hole. Ultimately, the best option is to place a permanent crown over the tooth to protect the work you've had done.

A root canal is an important step to protecting your dental health and preventing tooth infection. If you are prepared for the steps above, the root canal should go smoothly. If you're ever in doubt about what's happening during your procedure, then don't hesitate to ask questions to put your mind at ease. For more information, consult with your dentist (like those at Pinon Hills Dental).