Root Canals 101 – Understanding Root Canal Procedure

Root Canals

Root Canals are a relatively simple procedure that allows us to remove infection in the tooth, prevent the tooth from needing to be extracted and preserve the structure of your natural tooth. The most common reason patients end up needing a root canal is due to tooth decay or injury/trauma that damages the pulp inside the tooth.

During the treatment, your dentist in Sarasota will clean the damaged areas of the tooth to rid them of any remaining bacteria and debris. After that, the pulp chamber and the empty canals are cleaned, disinfected and filled with a biocompatible material. Then, the tooth is sealed with a filling and a dental crown is placed on the top to protect the treated tooth and restore its function.

The Pain After a Root Canal

Your tooth will be numb for a couple of hours following the procedure. When this wears off, you may experience some soreness and swelling in your mouth. This is normal and should go away after a few days.

Over-the-counter pain medications can be used to treat these symptoms. Call your dentist if these symptoms are severe or continue for more than a few days.

A fistula: A bump or hole that appears on the gums around the infected tooth, which tells your dentist there is a problem. The body is trying to “vent” the toxins produced by infection, and this often causes gums to swell and become red.

Antibiotics: Over-the-counter antibiotics may be given to reduce post-procedure pain and inflammation caused by the numbing medication. However, recent research has shown that antibiotics can be unnecessary and even contribute to antibiotic resistance.

What Is a Tooth Pulp?

A tooth has a soft tissue inside it called the dental pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. The pulp is essential to the development of a fully formed tooth. Without the dental pulp, a tooth cannot survive and will eventually die.

It is also the source of a tooth’s pain, so eliminating it during a root canal is vital to preventing future pain. This process is called endodontic therapy, and it is performed by our root canal specialists.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

During a root canal, your dentist will use tiny instruments to remove the damaged parts of the tooth. These can include the pulp, nerves, and decay. They are then carefully shaped and filed to be ready for the restoration. Then, a filling is placed to seal the resulting space and prevent future infection.

Your teeth are made up of three different parts: enamel (the outer layer), dentin (the hard, yellowish tissue under the enamel) and the pulp (the living tissue inside your tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues). In order for a tooth to survive, it needs to have all three.

You should visit your dentist at least twice per year for routine checkups and cleanings. This will help your dentist spot problems early and provide you with an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. Visit for more information and free consultation.