Root Canal

In the very center of your tooth there is an artery, a vein, and a nerve. When this area gets infected it must be physically removed, sterilized, and filled with an inert filling material.


During a root canal, the tooth is numb from the use of local anaesthetic. There should be no feeling at all during the appointment. The dilemma which arises is what to tell you our patient to expect afterward. In 95% of the cases , there is only minor swelling and tenderness, but in 5% of the cases it can be quite uncomfortable. That is why we prescribe very strong pain medication with every root canal. You should not drive or drink alcohol with it. We recommend that you take some Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Aspirin (whichever suits you best) while your tooth is still numb, to ease the transition when the anaesthetic wears off. Then, if there is any discomfort, you will have a prescription for a very strong pain medication that you can fill if needed.


If you have been prescribed antibiotics, it is essential that you take them to help rid the area of infection. And as with all antibiotics, FINISH the entire prescription as directed even if the tooth feels fine. You do not need to fill the prescription for the pain medication.


No! A root canal is not a black and white cure. It is a therapy with a very high success rate. Sometimes, the infection never clears up, and the tooth must be either: a) retreated, b) have a retrofill, (a retrofill is when we lay the gum tissue back, curette out the infection, and place a silver filling at the bottom of the root), or c) extracted. The success or failure of a root canal can result from causes that are not under our control, such as the anatomy of the tooth.


After the artery, vein, and nerve are taken out of the tooth, it is technically “dead”. The reason the tooth may be sore is that the area around the tooth is inflamed. The tooth will become dry and brittle , and can fracture. That is why all teeth with root canals need a “Post Build-Up” and a “Crown” as soon as possible. The ideal time frame is within a week. A Build Up is where we place a post down the canal of the root and place a filling around it. Then we place a crown over the Build-Up to hold the tooth together. The Build-Up and Crown are each separate procedures with separate fees, and are not included in the fee for the root canal. After the root canal, Build-Up and Crown, the tooth should be fine and you should use it as you would any other tooth.Root Canal