Advantages and Disadvantages of Root Canals

Root canals are the best treatment for infected or inflamed teeth. They help preserve your natural tooth, so you can keep smiling, biting and chewing.

A root canal is needed when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or damaged by decay, trauma or injury. This can cause pain and swelling, and can spread to your jawbones if it’s not treated. For more information and free consultation with a skilled root canal specialist, visit

The nerves and blood vessels in your tooth’s pulp chamber, which are located under the outer layer of enamel and dentin, can be infected or damaged by bacteria. When this happens, the bacteria can infect the inside of your tooth, causing a deep infection that spreads to other parts of your mouth and into other tissues, including your heart.

Once your dentist discovers that your tooth is infected, he or she will likely perform a root canal. It’s important to have the procedure done as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to your other teeth and the rest of your body.

During the root canal procedure, your dentist will remove the infected or inflamed pulp and seal the root canal. Then, a new filling is placed to keep out bacteria.

To prepare your tooth for a root canal, the dentist will use a rubber dam to keep saliva out of the area. He or she will also clean the infected pulp chamber and disinfect the canals with a solution to kill bacteria.

Next, a rubber-like compound called gutta percha is placed in the root canal and shaped. This protects the canal from future infections and allows your dentist to restore the tooth.

Finally, a crown or other restorative material is placed over the tooth to strengthen it and restore its function. This is a common dental treatment that can be completed in one appointment.

Can I have a root canal without sedation?

A root canal is an in-office procedure that can be performed using local anesthesia. However, sedation is sometimes necessary for patients who are anxious about the procedure or have a medical history of mental illness, so your dentist may recommend sedation if you’d like.

How long will a root canal take?

Depending on the size of your infected tooth, it can take as little as 90 minutes to complete a root canal. Most patients are able to resume normal activities the day after the procedure, though it’s best not to chew hard foods or place stress on the affected tooth.

What are the most common root canal complications?

Discoloration of the tooth is a common complication that can happen during or after the root canal. This is usually caused by blood that seeps into the tooth during the procedure or because of a poor technique.

If you experience a sudden, severe or persistent headache after a root canal, contact your doctor immediately. This could be an indication of a sinus infection.

If you notice any pain, redness or swelling after a root canal procedure, call your dentist immediately. The pain you experience after the procedure should subside within a few days, but you should still contact your dentist for an exam and X-rays. A follow-up appointment in 6 months or so is recommended to check for recurrence of infection and other problems, such as a cracked tooth or another cavity that hasn’t healed properly.