What to Expect Before, During and After a Root Canal Therapy

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What to Expect Before, During and After a Root Canal Therapy


The root canal therapy procedure is a dental treatment that saves teeth from being extracted due to infection or decay. Root canals are typically an option for people who have had previous root canal treatments, and those who cannot undergo a root canal because of other medical conditions. This blog post will discuss what you can expect before, during, and after root canal treatment.

Understanding Root Canals

In order to understand root canals, it is important to first have a basic understanding of the anatomy and function of teeth. The root canal procedure takes place in a hollow chamber called a root canal system or root structure. This space houses blood vessels, connective tissues, nerves and sometimes even tooth pulp tissue (the living center at the heart of the tooth). When root canal treatment is necessary, this area becomes infected and decayed because of the root’s exposure to harmful bacteria. This infection can spread through the blood vessels or root structure into surrounding structures like bone.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatments involve surgically removing all of the infection. The root structure is then cleaned and disinfected to remove any infection or decay that may be present before sealing the root back up with a protective filling (a common dental procedure).

Signs You Need a Root Canal

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it could signal that you may need a root canal treatment. The following are common symptoms a patient experiences when they need a root canal:

  • Persistent pain: if you have persistent tooth pain, that is a telltale sign you need this treatment. It can feel like pain deep in the bone of your tooth. Additionally, you may feel referred pain in your face, jaw, or in your other teeth.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold: Pain when you eat or drink cold or warm food and drinks is a sign you need treatment. 
  • Tooth discoloration: an infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause the tooth to become discolored.
  • Swollen gums: swollen gums near the painful tooth can be a sign of an issue that requires treatment.
  • A chipped or cracked tooth: if you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth, bacteria can set it and lead to infection.

Before Treatment

Before beginning root canal treatment, it is important for your dentist to conduct an initial evaluation. They will perform a root canal if they suspect that the tooth has become infected and decayed because of bacteria, and decide root canal therapy is your best option for saving it.

Root Canal: During Treatment

During root canal procedures, you may need an injection to numb any discomfort or pain you may experience. The root canal itself typically takes place under local anesthesia (numbing). Once the root is opened up, your dentist will use a special drill to remove all infection and decay.

After Treatment

Once the root canal treatment has been completed, your dentist will seal up the root canal system. Then, the tooth with a filling. They will also make sure that your tooth is stable enough to withstand normal chewing pressure. Once stable enough, an artificial crown will be placed on top of it.

Treating Teeth Affected by More Severe Conditions

If root canals cannot save your teeth, you may need root canal therapy combined with a dental bridge or implant. A root canal may also be required if you have had previous root canals done, but the tooth has become affected by an infection again due to decay and/or root exposure.

Root Canal: Risks & Benefits

Finally, it is important for you to understand that risk factors can exist for root canal treatments, including:

– A root canal may not be possible because of damage to your tooth or surrounding structures.

– Root canals are typically more successful in the middle of a root structure rather than at its tip.

– Some people experience sensitivity after root canals have been completed. This is most common with root canal treatments that involve root exposure.

– Filling the root structure may not be possible if it is damaged or too large. This can lead to greater tooth sensitivity and increased risk of root fracture after treatment.

– Root canal treatment has a risk of root resorption (a possible threat to the root’s structural integrity).

What is the Downtime with a Root Canal? 

After root canal treatment is completed, your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the temporary filling and place a final restoration. There is no specific downtime associated with root canals because you are able to eat immediately after treatment has been completed.

Call Mountain Aire Dentistry

If you are experiencing pain or swelling in your mouth, it’s important to get to the dentist as soon as possible. Call Mountain Aire Dentistry for an appointment now: (303) 731-7755.


291 E Flatiron Crossing Dr,
Broomfield, CO 80021

(303) 731-7755


When you visit our Broomfield dental office, your smile is our top priority. Our Dentists invite you to experience the difference a warm and caring team can provide for you and your family. Enjoy a unique and comfortable dental experience designed to bring a healthier and happier smile back into your life. We invite you to call or visit our Broomfield dental office and discover the exceptional difference we offer to those we serve.