So, you need to have a root canal.   Aside from the pain and anxiety associated with having the need for a root canal, there are a few tips to prepare for the procedure.   First, let’s explore what a root canal is and why they are done.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure performed to help save a tooth that has become infected and suffered extensive damage or decay to the tooth’s soft inner tissue.  A root canal removes all the infected tissue to prevent the infection from spreading.  Although it sounds scary, it is fairly routine and only requires a little more preparation than a filling.

Preparing For Your Procedure.

If the infection has spread to other areas of your mouth, your endodontist may require antibiotics before your root canal.  This helps alleviate the infection and prevents it from spreading during the procedure.   If you choose oral sedation, your endodontist will provide a sedative pill for you to take prior to the appointment.  Be prepared to have a friend or family member drive you to your appointment, and ask them to provide transportation after as well.

Your Root Canal

During the procedure, your dentist will drill a hole in your tooth and use special files to remove damaged/infected tissue.  The files used vary in size depending on the scope of work and are used to removed all pulp as well as the nerves.  In order to ensure all infected tissue is gone, they must all be removed by your endodontist.

After the pulp is removed, the empty cavity is disinfected and filled with a sterile resin.  The hole is then filled and a special crown is placed over the tooth.  This crown allows you to go about your day to day life as normal.   After this final crown is placed, you may experience discomfort or pain as the tooth heals, but within a few days, you should be back to normal.  Depending on your dentist’s recommendations, the whole process may take a single visit but could be two visits.   Two visits are usually scheduled one week apart, but most root canals can be performed in one visit and only take up to 90 minutes.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

  • Serious pain when eating or putting pressure on your tooth
  • Pain or sensitivity to hot and cold that lingers after stimuli has been removed
  • Small, pimple-like bump on gum(s) near your tooth.
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Tenderness or swelling near the tooth


If you have any of these signs or symptoms, and are concerned you may need a root canal, call Colson Dental Group today.  We work with  insurance companies to ensure dental services are readily available to those in need.  For more information, call us at (919) 231-6053.