Root Canals Frequently Asked Questions

What is a root canal?

The root canal procedure is a way to disinfect the nerve chamber of the tooth. A small access hole is made in the tooth, the nerve is accessed, removed, the tooth is disinfected and a filling material called gutta percha is placed inside the tooth. The tooth is saved and it’s life extended.

Do root canals hurt?

The majority of the time the root canal procedure does not hurt.  Modern dental anesthesia techniques make the root canal procedure as painless as a filling. However if the problematic tooth is already in pain due to the nerve being infected, then post-operative soreness and discomfort is to be expected.

Do you have to re-do root canals?

Sometimes you do. Root canals have a success rate of 85-95%. Which means a small number of root canal cases do need to be re-done.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Sometimes a tooth will tell you. If a nerve is infected, the tooth may have prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold sensation or a severe toothache which may keep you up at night. Other times there’s no indication except for an irregularity on an X-ray.

What do I do if I have a toothache?

Call me! It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a root canal. There are many reasons why you have a toothache. Sometimes hot and cold sensitivity means that your bite is off and the tooth is receiving too much pressure. There are times when a sinus infection will present like a toothache. With gum recession, cold sensitivity is very common.

If a toothache is unbearable and it’s a dental emergency, call us. We will see you as soon as possible. My cell phone number is available on our answering machine and you can call or text 24/7.