What is A Root Canal And Is It Necessary To Get One?

Root canals are a common dental procedure done to treat an infected tooth. When decay and infection reach the tooth’s pulp, a root canal is necessary to prevent further damage and preserve the health of the affected tooth. This article will explain what is a root canal, why it’s necessary, and what happens during the procedure.

What Is a Root Canal?

Being faced with a dental emergency such as a root canal can be an incredibly stressful experience. What is a root canal, you may ask? A root canal is a specialized dental procedure that involves removing infected or decayed tissue from the inside of a tooth to save the tooth from extraction. 

The process begins by drilling into the infected tooth and clearing out any damaged or infected tissues. Afterward, the dentist will fill the hollowed-out tooth with an inert material – usually gutta-percha – before capping it off with a crown or other restoration to restore both its appearance and functioning capacity. 

Root canals can be life-saving for your teeth and help you avoid more drastic procedures like extractions. With proper and regular oral hygiene, most people can keep their teeth healthy and prevent needing this type of procedure.

When is a Root Canal Needed?

A root canal procedure may be necessary to restore the tooth’s health if a tooth is severely damaged due to decay or injury. This procedure can prevent extraction of the affected tooth, allowing you to maintain your full set of teeth for longer. If left untreated, excess bacteria can lead to an abscessed tooth, which can cause pain and swelling and dangerous complications like facial paralysis and airway obstruction if left unchecked. 

Therefore, whenever there is significant damage to a tooth, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible for an assessment regarding whether a root canal may be necessary.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

Root canals are used to remedy ailments in a tooth’s soft core, otherwise known as the pulp. The process involves removing the pulp and then replacing it with an artificial material for greater protection and the longer-lasting health of the tooth. Other than wondering what is a root canal, what people may not know is how long does a root canal take? This varies depending on factors such as the severity of the damage, which type of tooth it is, and how accessible it is. 

Typically, a root canal takes one to two hours but can be completed in just one visit for some patients. Post-treatment care is also important to ensure teeth stay healthy long-term. Of course, this type of care should be discussed with your dental professional so that you can schedule ongoing appointments accordingly.

What Happens During A Root Canal Procedure?  

Before the procedure starts, your dentist will first numb your mouth with an anesthetic so you won’t feel anything during the treatment process. Once you’re numb, your dentist will drill into your tooth to access its inner structures (roots and pulp chamber). 

From there, they’ll use specialized tools to remove any infected tissue before filling in your tooth with an inert material (such as gutta-percha) to seal off any remaining infection and help protect against future damage. Afterward, they may also place a crown on top of your treated tooth to give it extra protection and strength against potential breakage or chipping down the line. 

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is essential for addressing tooth decay and preserving the natural tooth structure. This procedure takes place in a dentist’s office, where the infected pulp of a damaged tooth is removed before cleaning and restoring the inner canals with specialized filing material. 

The entire process is designed to help save teeth that are severely decayed or infected, removing any pain or discomfort and protecting the tooth’s inner structures from further harm. After root canal treatment, it is common for most people to have some soreness or sensitivity for a few days. 

However, after this period passes, tooth function will be restored to normal levels, and patients will once again be able to use their teeth as usual without any further issues.

Why Is It Necessary?

Root canals are necessary when decay or infection reaches beyond just the enamel of your teeth and into their inner structures – namely, their roots and pulp chamber. If left untreated, this could lead to further issues such as abscesses or pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food/beverages. 

A root canal prevents these issues by removing any infected tissue before it can do further damage to your teeth and gums. Additionally, it reduces pain because once all damaged tissue has been removed, there’s nothing left for bacteria or other irritants to interact with.  

Are There Any Risks Associated with Root Canal

When it comes to saving a damaged tooth, root canal treatment has become increasingly popular. Despite its efficiency and success rate, are there risks associated with this procedure? Yes—like any type of dental procedure, there can be minor complications involved with a root canal. 

Although the risks are quite rare, they may include a higher likelihood of cracks forming in the treated teeth afterward and infections that may develop if the area is not fully sterilized or sealed properly before or during the root canal. 

Fortunately, these types of problems can usually be solved quickly by addressing them early and maintaining good oral hygiene habits after the procedure is complete. By staying on top of any potential issues, people who have had a root canal should be able to enjoy their restored smiles without worry.

How Can You Prepare for a Root Canal

If a root canal is recommended as the best course of treatment for a toothache, there are steps you can take to ensure that you have the smoothest experience possible.

 Before undergoing a root canal, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what will happen during the procedure; research online and discuss with your dentist your expectations for both pain and recovery time. 

Additionally, paying close attention to oral hygiene before any dental procedure helps to ensure that the area is as healthy as possible. 

Finally, bringing someone along with you for support on the day of the appointment can make all the difference while easing anxiety – talking through fears and concerns before your appointment can go a long way in preparation. Taking precautionary measures such as these can lessen stress and help lead to a successful recovery.


Root canals are an essential dental service necessary for those who have sustained some tooth damage in their lives and are even recommended to prevent more severe oral problems if one gets ahead of the issue. 

It is important to be aware of signs that may suggest the need for a root canal, such as pain when eating/drinking hot/cold items, so that you can attend to it before more serious issues like abscesses result from the infection.

A root canal procedure involves removing damaged tissue from the innermost parts of your tooth (roots/pulp chamber), which helps save teeth and protects our oral health. If you think you may need a root canal soon, then make sure you speak with your dentist about scheduling one right away!