Understanding Root Canal Treatment: What Is It and Why Is It Needed?

root canal treatment

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure to rescue and restore severely damaged or infected teeth. During this process, the infected or inflamed pulp inside the tooth is removed, followed by cleaning and disinfecting the root canal system. Finally, the space is filled and sealed to prevent further infection.

Understanding root canal treatment is significant for various reasons. Firstly, it helps patients understand why the procedure is necessary and what to anticipate during treatment. Familiarity with the purpose and steps involved in root canal therapy can alleviate fears and concerns associated with dental procedures, resulting in better cooperation and outcomes.

Moreover, findings indicated that approximately one-third of Australian adults had at least one tooth surface affected by untreated dental caries, with an average of 29.7 decayed, missing, or filled tooth surfaces per person. This underscores the importance of addressing dental issues promptly to avoid further complications.

Secondly, comprehending root canal treatment empowers patients to make well-informed decisions regarding their oral health. They can engage in conversation with their dentist, ask pertinent questions, and carefully weigh the advantages and risks associated with the procedure.

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

A root canal becomes essential when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the canal, becomes inflamed or infected. This inflammation or infection can result from various causes like deep decay, repeated dental procedures performed on a tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. An injury can still damage the pulp even if a tooth has no chips or cracks. If ignored for long, pulp inflammation or infection may lead to pain or result in an abscess.

Signs and Symptoms

Determining if you need a root canal depends on noticing certain signs, such as severe pain when you chew or bite, pimples on your gums, a cracked or chipped tooth, ongoing sensitivity to hot or cold that won’t go away, and if your gums are decayed or getting darker.

The Root Canal Procedure

The process of endodontic treatment typically follows these steps:

Examination and X-Rays

  • The endodontist assesses the tooth’s condition and extent of damage using X-rays. Local anaesthesia is applied to ensure comfort during the procedure.

Dental Dam Placement

  • After numbing the tooth, a small protective sheet known as a dental dam is placed to isolate it, keeping it clean and saliva-free.

Opening and Cleaning

  • The endodontist opens the tooth’s crown to access the pulp chamber and root canals. Special instruments carefully remove infected or damaged pulp and shape the canals.

Filling the Root Canals

  • Once cleaned and shaped, the root canals are filled with a biocompatible material like gutta-percha. This material is sealed with adhesive cement to prevent any leakage. Sometimes, a temporary filling is used until the final restoration.

Temporary Filling (if needed)

  • A temporary filling may be applied to temporarily close the opening. Later, this will be replaced with a permanent restoration.


  • After the root canal treatment, you’ll return to your dentist to get your crown fixed on the tooth. This protects the tooth and restores its function and appearance.

Special Care After Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Cost

After root canal treatment, you must avoid chewing or biting on the treated tooth until completely restored. This precaution helps prevent the fracture risk, as the tooth may be vulnerable until adequately restored.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is also essential post-treatment. This includes regular brushing and flossing and attending scheduled checkups and cleanings. These practices help ensure the root canal treatment’s long-term success and promote oral health.

In most cases, teeth treated with root canal therapy last as long as other natural teeth. However, there are instances where the tooth may not heal properly, or pain may persist even after treatment. In such cases, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years later. Fortunately, redoing the root canal procedure can often save the tooth and alleviate discomfort.

What Happens After the Treatment is Completed?

After undergoing a root canal procedure, it’s common for patients to experience some sensitivity, swelling, or inflammation in the treated area during the initial days. Others may notice an uneven bite or react to the medication prescribed by the endodontist. These symptoms can vary from person to person.

However, regardless of the symptoms experienced, scheduling a follow-up appointment with your dentist is crucial. This follow-up allows the dentist to assess the healing progress, address any concerns or complications, and ensure the treatment succeeds. It’s an essential step in the post-treatment care process to ensure the long-term health and stability of the treated tooth. 

Root Canal Cost

The price of a root canal procedure depends on the issue’s complexity and which tooth needs treatment. For instance, molars are usually trickier to treat, so the cost might be higher. Thankfully, many dental insurance plans cover endodontic treatment, which can help reduce the financial burden.

Getting a root canal and saving the natural tooth is less costly than having the tooth extracted. After extraction, you’d need to consider options like implants or dental bridges to restore chewing function and prevent neighbouring teeth from shifting. These alternatives often come at a heftier price than root canal treatment and restoration of the natural tooth, so opting for a root canal can be a more economical choice in the long term.

Root Canal Treatment at Hills Dental Boutique

Don’t let tooth pain hold you back. Schedule your root canal treatment with Hills Dental Boutique today and experience relief and restoration. Book your appointment now.

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