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All About Root Canal Therapy

Having your dentist confess that you need to undergo root canal therapy can sound like the worst thing in the world. There are horror stories about how painful the procedure is, but the reality is the complete opposite. Like with any procedure, there’s a chance of feeling discomfort, depending on the severity of the issue, but any good dentist will work to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. Understanding the ins and outs of root canal therapy will help you better prepare for your own treatment.

The Cause and Consequences

Before we can dive into what goes on during root canal therapy, we need to understand what makes the treatment necessary. It’s a common practice that works to repair the nerves in your tooth when they’ve become inflamed or infected. This can be caused by tooth decay, a dental fracture or other injuries to the tooth. Some signs that you may be in need of a root canal procedure include experiencing mild to severe pain, tooth sensitivity or swollen gums. Only a checkup with your dentist will be able to confirm that a root canal is needed to ease your pain.


If left untreated, these symptoms can manifest into larger issues, including loss of bone around the roots tip, swelling throughout the face and neck and infection that can spread to other areas of your body.

The Procedure

Numbing jelly is rubbed onto your gums before additional numbing medication is injected. It’s important to render your nerves unresponsive before the procedure begins so your dentist can work on you effectively. The first step to improving your oral health and eliminate discomfort is to remove the damaged tooth. A drill is used to remove both the tooth’s nerves and the pulp surrounding it.

The Pain

Is it painful to get a root canal? It can be, but it’s your dentist’s job to perform any dental procedures without causing their patient’s immense pain, which it why numbing medications are administered. Good dentists also work to make you feel as comfortable as possible through soothing words of encouragement or distraction. A root canal can last a few hours, depending on the severity of the situation, so soreness and stiffness in the jaw are to be expected. Tenderness days after the procedure is also common, and if the discomfort becomes too much, over-the-counter pain medication will relieve the pain.

The Aftermath

A permanent filling or crown will be inserted during the final stages of the procedure. It’s important to avoid biting down on the affected tooth until the filling has been applied. For the next few days, fill your diet with soft foods like soup, pudding and oatmeal. You can easily bite through your cheek or tongue while your mouth is numb, so keep chewing to the unaffected side of your mouth. If you still experience pain a week or two after surgery, contact your dentist, as an instrument of theirs may have damaged tissue.


At Lumina Dental, our dental staff uses the best equipment to ensure the safest treatment for our patients. Located in Maple Ridge, Vancouver, our dentists are highly trained in cosmetic dentistry, implants and dentures, family dentistry and urgent care. Call us today to make an appointment or visit our website at