Root Canal: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks

Root Canal

When you hear the term “root canal”, it’s likely that you think of something painful and unpleasant. But in reality, root canals are a relatively common dental procedure used to save teeth that have become diseased or damaged. Root canals are an essential part of dentistry and can help prevent further damage to your teeth. In this blog post, we’ll explore the purpose, procedure, and risks associated with root canals so you can better understand what it entails and determine if it’s the right option for you.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it. Root canals are usually carried out by dental surgeons or endodontists (specialists in treating teeth).

The main purpose of a root canal is to remove the diseased or damaged pulp from the tooth so that it can be cleaned and sealed. This helps to prevent further decay or infection, and preserves the structure and function of the tooth. Root canals are often necessary when a tooth is severely decayed or infected, but they can also be used to treat other problems such as cracked teeth or abscesses.

The risks associated with root canal treatment are generally low, but as with any medical procedure there are some potential complications. These include pain, swelling, bruising, infection, and damage to the surrounding teeth. In rare cases, the root canal procedure may need to be repeated if the initial treatment is unsuccessful.

Why is a root canal necessary?

A root canal is necessary when the pulp, or soft tissue inside the tooth, becomes damaged or infected. This can happen due to a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or an injury to the tooth. If the pulp is not removed, it can lead to pain, infection, and eventually death of the tooth.

The procedure for a root canal is fairly simple. First, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth and then drill a small hole in the tooth to access the pulp. Next, they will clean out the infected or damaged pulp and fill the chamber with an inert material. Finally, they will seal up the hole and restore the tooth with a filling or crown.

There are some risks associated with root canals, but they are generally minor. The most common complication is an infection at the site of the drilling, which can usually be treated with antibiotics. There is also a small risk of damaging the nerve during the procedure, which can lead to numbness or tingling in the tongue or lip.

Root Canal

Source – Colgate US

The root canal procedure

A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat an infected tooth. The infection is caused by bacteria that have entered the tooth through a crack or cavity. The procedure involves removing the infected tissue and sealing the tooth.

Root canals are typically performed by dentists or endodontists (specialists who treat problems with the teeth and gums). The procedure usually takes one to two hours and can be done in one or more visits, depending on the severity of the infection.

During a root canal, the dentist will:

  • Remove the infected tissue
  • Clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth
  • Fill the tooth with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha
  • Seal the tooth with a filling or crown

After a root canal, the tooth may be sensitive for a few days. This is normal and should resolve on its own. If the pain persists, please contact your dentist.

Risks of a root canal

There are several risks associated with a root canal, although they are relatively rare. The most common risk is infection, which can occur if the area around the tooth is not kept clean. This can lead to pain, swelling, and abscesses. There is also a small risk of damage to the surrounding teeth or tissue. In rare cases, the procedure may cause nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or tingling in the affected area.

How to prevent needing a root canal

No one wants to hear that they need a root canal, but unfortunately, this common dental procedure is sometimes necessary to save a tooth. A root canal is usually needed when the nerve of a tooth becomes infected. The infection can be caused by a deep cavity, a crack in the tooth, or repeated dental procedures on the tooth. If you are at risk for needing a root canal, there are some things you can do to try to prevent it.

Brush and floss your teeth every day. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, which can lead to an infection. See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist can spot problems early and recommend treatment to prevent an infection from developing. Be careful with your teeth. Avoid chewing hard foods, using your teeth as tools, or grinding your teeth. These habits can put too much pressure on your teeth and lead to cracks or breaks that allow bacteria to enter the nerve of the tooth. If you have any concerns about your oral health, be sure to talk to your dentist. They can help you develop a plan to keep your mouth healthy and prevent the need for a root canal


Root canals are a safe and effective way to get rid of infection in the tooth root. The procedure is almost always successful with very few risks associated with it. Before considering a root canal, however, it is important to consult your dentist or endodontist to ensure that this is the right treatment option for you. With proper care and maintenance, your restored tooth should last years after a successful root canal procedure!

Why do I need a root canal?

A root canal is necessary when the pulp, or blood supply, of your tooth becomes infected. This can happen due to a deep cavity, a crack in the tooth, or trauma to the tooth. Once the pulp becomes infected, it will start to die and this can cause serious pain. A root canal will remove the infection and save your tooth.

How is a root canal performed?

A root canal is usually performed by an endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in this type of procedure. First, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area around your tooth. Then, the endodontist will access the pulp of your tooth through a small opening in the crown. The pulp will be removed and the inside of your tooth will be cleaned and sealed.

What are the risks of a root canal?

There are very few risks associated with having a root canal performed. The most common complication is that the procedure may not be totally successful and another one may be needed. There is also a very small risk of damage to nearby teeth during the procedure

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