What to Know Before You Go: Getting a Root Canal

Root Canal
Photo by Caroline LM on Unsplash

The thought of getting a root canal can be daunting. But it is a common procedure in general dentistry that has enabled many people to save their natural teeth and avoid extraction. A root canal becomes necessary when the pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth containing blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves, is infected and inflamed. A root canal procedure involves removing the infected pulp and filling the space with a biocompatible material. This blog post will discuss what you need to know before getting a root canal so you can approach the procedure with confidence and ease.

The Procedure

Before the procedure, the dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth with local anesthesia. Then, an opening is made in the tooth to access the pulp. The pulp is then removed using specialized tools, and the resulting space is cleaned and sterilized. The canal is then filled with a biocompatible material and sealed with a filling or crown. The procedure usually takes about an hour and is generally painless.


After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort and sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain-relievers. You should avoid chewing or biting on the treated tooth until the filling or crown is placed. It is recommended that you follow a soft food diet for the first few days. You should also maintain good oral hygiene to avoid any infections.

Success Rate

Root canal procedures have a high success rate, with over 95% of patients reporting successful outcomes. However, like any medical procedure, there is a small risk of complications, such as infection or injury to surrounding teeth. Your dentist will discuss the risks with you before the procedure.

Cost and Insurance

The cost of a root canal procedure can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the geographic location of the practice. It is important to check with your insurance provider to see if the procedure is covered under your policy. If it is not, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your dentist.

Alternative Treatments

In some cases, a tooth extraction may be recommended instead of a root canal. However, it is important to remember that losing a natural tooth can lead to other dental issues, such as misalignment and bone loss. It is always recommended to try to save your natural teeth whenever possible.

In conclusion, getting a root canal can seem intimidating, but it is a routine dental procedure that can help save your natural teeth and improve your oral health. Knowing what to expect before the procedure, during recovery, and understanding the benefits of the procedure will help calm your anxiety and build confidence. If you feel unsure about getting a root canal, talk to your dentist and they can help you understand the process and answer any questions you may have.

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