June 1, 2023

What Is a Root Canal?

It is an endodontic dentistry procedure that addresses diseased and damaged teeth featuring internal bacterial infection. A root canal treatment in Mississauga, ON, involves removing the damaged or infected soft tissues within a tooth resulting from bacterial infection.

What Does the Process Entail?

A natural tooth consists of different layers. The outermost is called the enamel, while the central part is the pulp. The pulp cavity houses all the soft tissues of a tooth, including blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerve endings. You can very well refer to them as the life of a natural tooth.

When you damage a tooth, the bacteria breach the different layers and penetrate the pulp chamber. The infection damages the soft tissues, including the nerve endings, resulting in severe tooth pain.

During root canal treatment near you, your dentist aims to eliminate all damaged soft tissues from a tooth to restore its function. The procedure entails the following steps:

  1. Drill the tooth to create an access hole to reach the inner layers.
  2. Eliminate damaged tissues from the tooth and clean it to free it of bacteria.
  3. Reshape the canal and fill it with a special material called gutta percha to restore the compactness of the tooth and maintain its structural integrity.
  4. Fill and seal the tooth – with a dental filling to prevent future re-infection through the drilled hole.
  5. Crowning – although not mandatory, dentists may recommend a dental crown over the treated tooth to reinforce its strength and regain optimal oral function.

Is A Root Canal Painful?

Traditionally, root canal procedures can be painful to bear. If anything, you often require a root canal because your tooth is aching. Therefore, most patients would experience discomfort during endodontic treatment. Fortunately, we at Millway Dental offer our patients a different outcome. Our endodontic procedures are not painful due to the various measures we take. They are:

  1. Local anesthesia – before any root canal step, a dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb your mouth around the area of the affected tooth. You can get through the entire process without feeling anything in your mouth.
  2. Sedation dentistry – entails medication that calms your mind and body, ensuring you remain relaxed throughout your treatment. Sedation dentistry is often necessary for hypersensitive patients or those with dental anxiety. Besides, it is also called sleep dentistry because you can be unconscious during your procedure.

What Happens After Root Canal Treatment?

After the procedure, you may experience discomfort and sensitivity for a few days. The numbing in the dental office will not last forever. Therefore, once the medication wears off, you will begin to feel your mouth again.

The soreness and discomfort you experience is not a stand-alone experience after dental work. It happens to all patients. However, it should not be a sharp, persistent pain that feels worse than before treatment. Instead, it is a short-term discomfort as your mouth adjusts to life after treatment.

Rarely, a root canal procedure may cause more severe pain or complications, such as an abscess or nerve damage. When this happens, it indicates a failed root canal procedure. You will need retreatment as soon as possible.

Managing Soreness After Root Canal Treatment

  1. Take over-the-counter pain relievers – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help reduce pain and inflammation. Get a prescription from a dentist about how to take the medication.
  2. Apply a cold compress – use an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the outside of your cheek for 10-15 minutes. It will promise comfort and reduce swelling and soreness.
  3. Rest – your dentist will advise you to take it easy for the first few days after the procedure. Avoid strenuous activities or exercise that could cause additional discomfort by increasing blood flow in your mouth.
  4. Eat soft foods – for the first few days after treatment, stick to soft foods such as soups, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that could irritate and aggravate discomfort in the area.
  5. Avoid smoking and alcohol – these habits can slow healing, heighten swelling, and increase the risk of complications like infections.
  6. Keep your mouth clean – brush and floss your teeth as usual, but be gentle around the treated tooth. You may need to change your toothbrush to a soft-bristled one that will not be too abrasive to your teeth. Your dentist may also recommend using an antimicrobial mouthwash to help keep your mouth clean and prevent infection.


Overall, while a root canal may not be a completely painless procedure, it is usually well-tolerated and can provide significant relief from the pain and discomfort caused by a damaged or infected tooth.

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