Simple Facts About Root Canals

diagram for root canal therapyIrrational fear of the dentist, or of dental work in general, often stems from horror stories being told and exaggerated from many points of view. The reality is that dental work is usually painless, and can greatly improve your chances of keeping your teeth. Root canals are probably one of the most feared restorative procedures, and for no good reason! They are an excellent choice for curing a tooth infection, or other type of nerve damage, while keeping your main tooth structure intact.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Your dentist may discover that a root canal is warranted during one of your annual cleanings or examinations. Usually this occurs when tooth decay has reached a significant depth within your tooth, and an abscess is present or imminent. Sometimes when older dental work begins to show signs of wear, bacteria can invade through tiny cracks, and cause infection that is best removed by cleaning out your tooth roots.

What About the Pain?

Long ago, dental work was probably performed with little to no anesthesia, and people may have suffered momentarily for the sake of being relieved of long term pain. Nowadays, most dental work is completely painless thanks to modern medicine and skilled dental professionals. Before having a root canal performed, your dentist will more than sufficiently numb the affected tooth and surrounding gingival tissues. You may feel some pressure, but pain should be non-existent during and usually after the procedure. If there is any sensation in the tooth once your procedure is finished, immediately alert your dentist because this could be a sign that retreatment is necessary.

Will My Tooth Look Weird?

The final stage of root canal therapy is having a permanent, custom crown placed onto the tooth that was treated. Your crown will be designed in a dental lab to perfectly fit within the given space, as well as match the rest of your natural teeth. It will look as close to nature as possible.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.