Do I Need a Root Canal? A Step-By-Step Guide

Do I Need a Root Canal? A Step-By-Step Guide

February 2, 2022

A root canal therapy is a procedure that involves removing only the infected pulp of the tooth. The dental pulp is the innermost part of the tooth that consists of connective tissues, nerves endings, and blood vessels. Root canals are not scary as they sound. Our dentist in Vancouver will be committed to ensuring your experience is painless, comfortable, and convenient.

When is a Root Canal Needed?

Root canal procedures are done when the x-rays detect that a bacterial infection has damaged your pulp. An infected pulp starts to die out, increasing the bacteria fold. How are you going to know that you have an infected pulp?

When you start feeling pain when biting, chewing, or taking hot or cold beverages, a loose tooth is another indication of infected pulp. As the infection progresses, you may experience symptoms such as gum swelling around the infected tooth. The affected tooth starts to ooze an abscess, facial swelling, or darkening the infected tooth.

Seek immediate root canal treatment near you that pulp will not heal itself. Early treatment will prevent you from losing your teeth.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

Root canal procedures are more than a routine filling. In addition to preparation, set and anesthesia, the dentist near me will also rinse, disinfect and seal the carved part. The time needed for root canal therapy is determined by several factors, such as the number of canals or the type of tooth.

Simple root canal therapy requires a single appointment, which lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. However, a single appointment may require more than an hour in severe cases. A second appointment will be scheduled if a dental crown or filling is recommended.

Root Canal Procedure

You have already checked in for a root canal treatment in Vancouver. The technician will escort you to the treatment room and get you ready for the procedure. The following are steps to be expected during the treatment.


To numb your nerves, a local anesthetic is delivered on the gum near the affected tooth. You will only feel a sharp pinch that passes away as the anesthesia is administered. The tooth is then isolated from the rest using a dental dam. Following the cavity-filling procedure, the numbing effect of the local anesthesia typically wears off within 1 to 3 hours, allowing you to regain normal sensation in the treated area.

Accessing the Pulp

The dentist then makes a small opening on the root to access the pulp using a drill. Once exposed, the infected pulp is then removed carefully using special tools known as files.

After the pulp is removed, the area is coated with an antibiotic to prevent the infection and prevent reinfection.

Shaping and Filling the Canals

The dentist will shape the root canals for them to receive dental fillings. After shaping, they are cleaned the second time. Next, a rubber-like material is placed in the canals and heated to fill the channels. Finally, it is compressed to fit snuggly on the walls.

Adhesive cement is then added to seal the canal further. If a second appointment is required, a temporary material will fill the canals. This sealant will prevent the canals from being damaged by the saliva. A second appointment is then scheduled for a more permanent filling or crown.

Sealing the Access Hole

The hole made to access the root canals are then sealed. Sealing them prevents bacteria from reentering the tooth. A post may be placed on the canal to strengthen the tooth. It is only necessary if the tooth cannot support itself after restoration or is severely damaged.

Root Canal vs. Extraction

When a tooth is suffering from a severe infection, two options are available; tooth extraction or root canal. At Phoenix Dental Implant and Invisalign Centre, we help our patients find the best option for them.

Root canal therapy is a conservative treatment. It focuses on removing only the infected or damaged part of the tooth. Having pimples on your gums, swollen and dark gums, cracked enamel, tooth decay, or an abscess could be a reason why you need to have a root canal.

However, there are situations where a tooth extraction procedure will be preferred. The tooth extraction procedure is the removal of your tooth from its socket. Some of the reasons why it may be selected to root canal therapy include:

  • Severe tooth infection or decay that has reached deep into the roots
  • Excessive trauma or injury on the tooth