Root Canal FAQs and Answers

patient getting root canal

Root canals are extremely common dental treatments that hold an undeserved reputation for being painful. In reality, the experience of getting a root canal isn’t very different from getting a filling, and they are an extremely effective alternative to extraction for diseased teeth. If your dentist has recommended that you have a root canal, here are the answers to some questions that may be on your mind.

Why do I need a root canal?

Root canals are performed when the soft tissue inside the root of the tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected. This usually occurs as the result of tooth decay that is not treated in its early stages with a filling, but it can also happen if a tooth is cracked or chipped, or if it has undergone multiple dental procedures in the past. Without a root canal, your dentist would need to extract the tooth to get rid of the infection. Root canal treatment prevents the need for extraction, so you can keep your tooth and avoid restorations like dental implants.

How is a root canal performed?

During a root canal, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Next, he or she will isolate the tooth using a sheet called a dental dam that is placed around the tooth. He or she will open the crown of the tooth and clean the pulp from the root canals using a series of small files. Once the canals are thoroughly cleaned, your dentist will fill them with a biocompatible material. At a later appointment, your dentist will place a crown on top of the treated tooth. Once the crown is cemented, you can use the tooth as normal, without the need for special care.

Will a root canal hurt?

Root canals have a reputation for being painful, and most patients are pleasantly surprised that that is not the case. Root canals usually relieve toothache pain, and your dentist will ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Any soreness after the procedure can managed with over-the-counter pain medicines.


Manela Dental relies on the very latest in dental technology to ensure every patient has the best possible experience and outcomes. To schedule an appointment with a dentist in Tucson, call (520) 744-2039.