Root Canal – Symptoms, Procedure, Pain And Problems

Root Canal – Symptoms, Procedure, Pain And Problems

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal, also called a root filling, removes the nerve tissue from the channel inside a tooth’s root. This is done when the tooth’s nerve becomes infected, causing an abscess at the tip of the heart. Your general dentist can do a root canal, or if it’s complicated, you may be referred to a root canal specialist, called an endodontist.

Root Canal Symptoms

Sometimes you may experience no symptoms at all, but other times you may experience one or more of the following root canal symptoms:

  • Severe toothache and pain when chewing or biting
  • A pimple on the gum
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold, which remains after the hot or cold has been removed
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Sore gums and swelling
  • Another reason your dentist may recommend a root canal is if decay or a filling is intense and goes all the down to where the nerve is or bone loss around the root of the tooth.

Root Canal Procedure

A root canal involves two or more visits to your dentist or endodontist. Each appointment will take around an hour. The dentist will use a local anesthetic during the first appointment to numb your tooth. They will then place a rubber dam over your mouth to isolate your tooth, so you don’t get saliva on it. A rubber dam is a thin sheet of rubber that goes over your mouth with only the tooth having the treatment being exposed. You can still breathe and swallow with a rubber dam on, but you won’t be able to close your mouth or talk.

Firstly the dentist needs to drill into the top of the tooth to gain access to the canals. They will then clean the canals using tapered pins with a rough surface called endodontic files. They will also flush out your tooth, usually bleach, to remove debris and disinfect it. This is called irrigation and may be done multiple times during the procedure. The canal will now be dried, an antibiotic paste will be put inside, and a temporary filling will be placed on top. The second appointment will be a minimum of one week after the first appointment. This appointment is similar to the first one; you will wear the rubber dam, and the canal will be cleaned with files, rinsed, and dried once again. But the channel is now just an empty hole that must be filled. This is done using gutta-percha, made of rubber, to fill the tooth to the tip of the root. A white or silver filling must then be placed on the top surface of the tooth.

Root Canal Cost

Root canal cost is a concern for many people, especially those without dental insurance. Root canals are necessary treatments that can improve the health of your teeth and gums when decay has penetrated deep into the tooth. The cost of a root canal procedure varies greatly depending on several factors, such as the severity of the problem, which tooth is involved, and what type of anesthesia is used. For just one tooth, a single root canal treatment can range from $300 to $2,000. It may cost even more in more complicated cases where multiple teeth are involved or if extensive work needs to be done.

It’s important to note that some dental insurance plans cover some or all of the costs associated with root canals. It’s always best to check with your insurer before pursuing this procedure.

Is A Root Canal Painful?

You may have heard horror stories about the pain involved in having a root canal, but root canal pain is much less joint than you may think. It would be best if you didn’t experience more pain during a root canal than during a filling. Some people experience pain if their tooth is quite infected and the local anesthetic can’t penetrate as well through the infection to numb the tooth. It is only during the first appointment that you may experience pain. After most of the nerve tissue has been removed, it is doubtful that you will feel any pain. Following treatment for a root canal, there may be pain as your body tries to heal the infection. Pain relief and antibiotics should be taken as recommended by your dentist.

Root Canal Problems

No matter how thoroughly your dentist cleans your tooth and completes your root canal, problems can still occur. A dentist does not remove the infection around the tooth; they release the source of the disease (that is, the bacteria in the canal of your tooth), and it is your body that heals the infection. If you have other health problems, it may be hard for your body to cure the disease, or it may recur many years after having a root canal. If you have a recurrent infection, you may need to have the root canal re-done or remove the tooth.

Do I Need A Crown After A Root Canal?

Having your tooth treated with a root canal removes the blood supply to the tooth, which means that it can discolor and become brittle over time. Your dentist may suggest you get a crown to hold the tooth together and protect the tooth from breaking. A height will hide the discoloration and strengthen the tooth.


Root canal treatment can be expensive and out of reach for those without insurance. However, it is important to remember that root canal treatment costs a fraction of the cost incurred if the infection spreads further, potentially leading to more invasive treatments or tooth extraction. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek professional dental care immediately if you are experiencing painful symptoms such as toothache, swelling, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and discoloration.

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