Understanding Root Canals

understanding root canals


The sentence, “You need a root canal,” is one that immediately instills a sense of fear in most individuals visiting their dentist. It is a common notion that root canals are a tedious and painful procedure. Although true, in the past, modern technology today allows for a simple and almost painless procedure for root canals.

It is essential to understand what a root canal is. Simply put, it is a form of treatment to repair a severely impaired tooth without having to remove it. The root canal of a tooth lies between the pulp and root of the tooth. The term root canal means cleaning the canals inside the root of your tooth. During the procedure, the infected part of the pulp is removed, the area is cleaned, disinfected, filled, and sealed with cement. The root canal contains blood vessels and nerves. When there is damage to the nerve and pulp from decay or injury, the root canal breaks down leading to the formation of bacteria in the tooth.

Many times, individuals do not realize when they need a root canal. Many symptoms help you gauge if you need a root canal. The most common symptoms are listed below.


  1. Severe pain and discomfort in your tooth –This pain can vary from a dull sensation in your tooth to a sharp pain depending on the situation. You may experience this pain when you are chewing or apply any pressure on the tooth and the areas surrounding it.
  2. Lingering sensitivity to heat or cold – A common symptom of a root canal is experiencing sensitivity in your tooth post exposure to sensations of heat and cold.
  3. Swelling or tenderness in your gums – It is a sign of infection in your tooth. A further clinical investigation would lead to a root canal.
  4. Darkening or discoloration of your tooth – Another common sign for a root canal is a change in the color of your tooth. Regular visits to a dentist near you will help determine this at an early stage.
  5. The random appearance of a bump like structure or pimple on your gums –This usually occurs in the area surrounding the infected tooth.

The procedure for a root canal is simple. At the very first sign of pain, make sure you book an appointment with a dentist near you. At the dentist’s, the very first step would be to examine the tooth and determine the problem. It could include taking an X-ray to gauge the extent of damage in the tooth. The next step is numbing the surrounding areas of the tooth with anesthesia, which is not often necessary as the nerve in the tooth is already dead. Dentists do it, either way, to relax and ease the patient. To avoid contamination from saliva during the procedure a rubber sheet is placed around your tooth to keep it dry.

The dentist then drills a hole in the infected tooth to clean out the damaged or decayed tissue and nerve removing any bacteria in the process. After a thorough cleaning, the tooth is then sealed. The procedure could be a one-day treatment or spread across a period, depending on what your dentist thinks is best for you. If the tooth is not sealed in one sitting, a temporary filling is used to cover the exterior of the tooth to avoid your saliva along with food particles from encountering the interior of the tooth. For the first few days following the procedure, you are bound to experience sensitivity in your tooth and it can be controlled with medication. For many individuals, they can resume regular activity as soon as the next day.

The price of a root canal can vary from individual to individual. It is best to call a dentist near you in Winnipeg to get an approximate estimate of the procedure. The exact cost of a root canal is determined after examining the severity of the situation. So book an appointment today at a dental clinic near you if you are experiencing any symptoms.