Understanding Root Canal Therapy: What to Expect


Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that is commonly misunderstood and feared by many. However, this treatment is crucial for saving a severely infected or damaged tooth, relieving pain, and restoring oral health. A Dentist in Houston, TX, will assess your condition and explain how root canal therapy can alleviate your present situation.

Let’s delve into what getting a root canal therapy involves to demystify this essential dental procedure.

The Basics of Root Canal Therapy

  • Diagnosis

Before undergoing a root canal, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination, which may include X-rays, to determine the extent of the damage or infection in the tooth’s pulp. In fact, the symptoms indicating the need for a root canal include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling, and tenderness in the surrounding gums.

  • Procedure Overview

During a root canal procedure, the dentist aims to remove the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth, clean and disinfect the area, and then seal it to prevent further infection. The process typically involves the following steps:

  • Anesthesia

To ensure your comfort throughout the procedure, the dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth using local anesthesia. This helps alleviate any pain or discomfort during the root canal.

  • Pulp Removal

Once the area is numb, the dentist will create an opening in the tooth to access the pulp chamber. Using specialized tools, the infected or damaged pulp is carefully removed from the tooth.

  • Cleaning and Shaping

After the pulp is removed, the interior of the tooth is cleaned and shaped to prepare it for the filling material. This step is crucial to remove any bacteria or debris that could cause reinfection.

  • Filling and Sealing

Once the tooth is cleaned and shaped, it is filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. This material seals the tooth to prevent bacteria from re-entering. In some cases, a temporary filling is placed to protect the tooth until a permanent restoration, such as a crown, can be placed.

  • Restoration

After the root canal therapy is completed, a crown or filling is often placed on the tooth to restore its function and appearance. This step ensures the tooth remains strong and functional for biting and chewing.

  • Post-Treatment Care

After a root canal, it is normal to experience some discomfort or sensitivity, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. So, it is essential to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-treatment care, including maintaining good oral hygiene practices and attending follow-up appointments as scheduled.