The Truth About Root Canals

A root canal may not be a dream day at the dentist, but sometimes it is necessary. In some cases, it is needed when a cavity is too deep and extends into the nerve of the tooth. A root canal may also be needed if a tooth has a crack that extends into the nerve. Both of these issues can cause a nasty toothache, which you’ll want taken care of quickly.

Photo of cavity through layers of tooth

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a process in which the top of the tooth is opened and the nerve is accessed. The dentist or endodontist uses special tools to carefully remove the nerve from the tooth. The empty nerve space is then filled with a dental material, and the tooth is restored with a crown or filling. After a root canal, the tooth can be sore for a few days, but patients typically feel immediate relief from their toothache.

How Long do Root Canals Last?

There isn’t a magic number for how long a root canal tooth will last. Often times, root canals are performed as a final measure to save a tooth that has been traumatized from either decay or an accident. Ideally, a root canal will last as long as a crown can last. Regular checkups with your dentist will allow your dentist to identify any early issues that may arise from a root canal-treated tooth. Maintaining your oral home care, including brushing and flossing, can help support the longevity of the root canal and crown.

Do I Need to See a Specialist?

Root canals can be done by your general dentist. But there are times when your dentist may see the need to see a specialist (an endodontist). In most cases, your general dentist is skilled and competent in completing root canals. They can relieve your pain without the need for a specialist. Sometimes roots have unique shapes or accessory canals, or have already calcified and are hard to access. A specialist isn’t anything to be afraid of! They complete root canals all day, every day.

By visiting your dentist and completing regular checkups, you can help to maintain or improve your dental health, and hopefully avoid a root canal. If you are in need of a root canal, however, our Rochester dentists have the skills and equipment to help you get relief fast!

Request an Appointment

Family Dentist Tree is a family-oriented dental office located in Rochester, MN. Whether you need a cleaning, filling, crown, root canal, treatment for gum disease, or teeth whitening, we are here to help you with all your dental needs. We serve all ages, and our offerings include family dental care and senior plans. Request an appointment online or call us at 507-288-1188.