Root Canals

What's a Root Canal?

A root canal is a treatment for infections within your tooth pulp (innermost layer of your teeth).

You might need a root canal if bacteria inside your mouth has invaded the pulp inside your tooth and caused inflammation. Your tooth pulp can become infected with bacteria because of the following:

  • You have a deep cavity that needs treatment
  • You have a cracked or damaged tooth

Signs you might need a root canal

If you have an infected tooth, you might need a root canal treatment to clear out the infection. Symptoms of an infection can include:

  • Tooth pain that doesn’t go away. Pain from your teeth that spreads to your jaw, face or other teeth might also mean you have an infection. 
  • Putting pressure on your tooth hurts — if it hurts when you eat or touch your tooth.
  • Swollen gums — if you have an infected tooth, your gums might feel tender or be swollen.
  • Discoloured tooth.
  • Loose tooth.

what does a root canal treatment involve?

Before starting treatment, your dentist will take dental X-rays of the affected tooth. Tests might also be run to determine if your tooth pulp is dead, infected or inflamed. During a root canal treatment, your dentist will remove the inflamed pulp then clean and disinfect the inside of your tooth before placing a filling on your tooth to seal it in place.

Root canal treatment steps:

  1. Before the procedure, anesthesia is injected to put you at ease and numb your infected tooth and nearby gums.
  2. Next, your dentist will use special instruments to carefully remove infected pulp, then clean and disinfect the area gently.
  3. From there, your tooth will be sealed with a dental filling to keep bacteria out.
  4. After a root canal, a crown is often recommended to help strengthen and protect your tooth.
  5. Root canal recovery is different for everyone, but is usually only sore for a few days after the procedure. During this time, eat mainly soft foods and gently brush your teeth as you normally would.
  6. For pain relief, take over-the-counter pain relievers and if pain hasn’t subsided after a few days, give your dentist a call.

Book Your Appointment Today!

Picture of Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky, DDS

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky, DDS

This content was written by Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky, who brings over 15 years of experience to her practice. Dr. Buchkowsky holds both a Bachelor of Medical Science and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Alberta.

Contact Us