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The Root Canal Process: From Diagnosis to Recovery

You may be prescribed a root canal if you have a chipped tooth to prevent its loss and avoid discomfort and infections.

Root canal or endodontics is a process that consists of the extraction of the dental pulp (part or all) and the treatment of the tooth canals to preserve damaged dental pieces. It is known colloquially as "killing the nerve." Although it is a serious procedure, it is one of the safest and most used treatments dentists handle daily.

This article will explain the root canal process, from its diagnosis to recovery, to help you understand this safe technique.

The Root Canal Process

Why Root Canal?

It is performed when there is inflammation or necrosis of the dental pulp to end possible infections. Decay is the main cause of root canals, especially when it is very advanced and a filling is not enough. With much of the tooth's structure missing, the pulp is unprotected and more prone to infection.

It is usually done to avoid symptoms such as inflammation, chewing discomfort, hypersensitivity to cold drinks, and even color changes. In addition, it stops dry caries and prevents the loss of the piece.

In other cases, it is done for problems with the fillings. When they are too large, the dental pulp could be affected and retract, making it more prone to infection.

When performed on the molars, it is known as molar endodontics. If the tooth has two canals, it is bi-rooted endodontics; if it has more, it is known as multi-rooted endodontics.

Root Canal Diagnosis

A good diagnosis must be made to know if it is necessary to perform molar endodontics. In addition to assessing the symptoms, an x-ray and oral examination are done to see if there are any abnormalities.

If there are, the appropriate treatment will be carried out. On some occasions, it will not be necessary, and a filling will suffice, while, on others, the piece would have to be removed as it is too damaged.

How is a Root Canal Done?

After making the diagnosis, endodontic treatment will proceed. After placing the anesthesia, the tooth's pulp chamber is accessed, eliminating caries around it. The dental pulp tissue that has been infected is also removed, in addition to disinfecting the area.

The next step is to treat the root canals to measure their length. Once they are measured, they are instrumented, removing necrotic tissue or the vascular-nervous package as needed. Finally, the canal wall is cleaned and closed with an inert material.

Sometimes, a dental crown will be placed to replace the old one, especially if it is badly damaged. This reconstruction process is carried out in another session to recover the dental piece's initial appearance.

When using anesthesia in the area, it is normal that it does not hurt. In other cases, anesthesia is not even necessary since the tissue is necrotic, although it is recommended to use it. Of course, it is normal to have a little discomfort when biting, since this area has been manipulated.


Recovery time for root canal treatments varies depending on which tooth is treated. When an irreversibly inflamed tooth is treated with pain and a burning sensation, it fully recovers in 3 to 7 days. The specialist prescribes pain relievers for a couple of days until the tooth heals. Antibiotics are not required.

Recovery time is longer in cases that involve an infected tooth. The patient may require antibiotics and pain relievers after root canal treatment of an infected tooth, and it takes one to two weeks to recover fully.

A close treatment is the most complex and is done when there's infection and swelling accompanied by deep pain. Such cases require immediate treatment. The dentist prescribes pain relievers and antibiotics to recover.

Does the Root Canal Process Cause Complications?

Although complex, the root canal is among the safest and most used dental treatments. Opt for the best dentist in the area for endodontics to have the peace of mind you deserve.

Contact Waterfront Family Dentistry, a leading dental clinic in Texas, offering professional dental services in Frisco, Little Elm, Plano, and The Colony. We are highly qualified to carry out endodontics and use the latest and the most precise extraction techniques to achieve the best results.

At Waterfront Dentistry, your Frisco dentist will explain the entire process before intervening, ensuring recovery after a root canal in just a few days.


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