Root Canal

The phrase “root canal treatment” brings just as much fear in dental patients as anything else. When the blood or nerve supply of a tooth, also called the ‘pulp,’ is compromised due to injury, infection, or decay, it can lead to the death of the tooth’s nerve. In the past, this would have necessitated the complete removal of the tooth to prevent the spread of infection in the surrounding area. Fortunately, with the advent of root canal treatment, rescuing endangered teeth threatened by compromised pulp is possible.

Infections spread rapidly, especially in our mouths’ warm and moist environment, which is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. An infection in the pulp can swiftly extend throughout the root canal system. If left unaddressed, it has the potential to develop into an abscess. In such a scenario, pus-filled with bacteria accumulates beneath the gums, leading to swelling, heat, and possibly intense pain. To counter this, your dentist may need to prescribe oral antibiotics; tooth extraction may be necessary in severe cases.

The primary objective of root canal treatment is to eliminate all infections from the root canal, ultimately preserving the original tooth.

Given the widespread fear of dental visits, it’s not uncommon for stories about dental procedures to be exaggerated. In reality, a root canal procedure should be no more painful than a routine dental filling.

Root canal treatment is complex, typically requiring two to three dental visits.

During the initial session, your dentist will extract the infected pulp, eliminating bacteria or pus. The root will be cleansed and shaped to prepare it for a filling, preventing future infections. A temporary filling is placed, allowing the root canal time to heal.

About a week later, you’ll return for a follow-up, during which your dentist will ensure the infection is entirely eradicated before applying a permanent filling. Additionally, your dentist might recommend a crown for the treated tooth, as teeth post-root canal treatment tend to become weaker and more susceptible to fractures and chips.


You may experience mild discomfort for a few days following the root canal procedure. During this period, it’s advisable to consume soft foods, refrain from smoking, and avoid alcohol.

Once the treatment is complete, maintaining your tooth involves adhering to a comprehensive oral care routine, including brushing twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash.

Occasionally, a tooth treated with a root canal may exhibit slight darkening. If discoloration develops, speak with your dentist about appropriate measures to bring the tooth back to a shade that blends in with the rest of your teeth.