Root Canals – What are they?

What is a root canal?

Root canal treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root of the tooth, prevent reinfection of the tooth, and save the natural tooth. When one undergoes a root canal, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed. [1] X-rays are taken to see the shape of the root canal and to determine if there is any sign of an infection in the surrounding bone.

Do root canals hurt?

It’s understandable to ask whether a root canal can hurt, but the good news is that with anesthesia and/or laughing gas, you shouldn’t feel more than some pressure during and some mild discomfort and pain after the procedure. Your dentist will also give you some aftercare to help keep the pain away. The area will also be thoroughly numbed before your root canal. An average root canal treatment takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

Why might I need a root canal?

A root canal might be necessary to save damaged, natural teeth without having to pull it and prevent the need for dental bridges and implants. Root canals are necessary when the soft tissue, or pulp, inside the tooth becomes infected or inflamed, which could lead to an abscess.

The pulp is located in the center of the tooth, beneath the enamel and hard dentin layer. The pulp of the tooth contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels, which create hard tissue around the tooth during growth and development. However, a fully-matured tooth is nourished by its surrounding tissues and no longer needs the pulp to survive. [2] These nerves are the “root” of the tooth and the canal travels from the tip of the root to the pulp. If this sensitive area of the tooth becomes infected, it can cause pain and needs to be treated right away.

What are the symptoms that you might need a root canal?

  1. Tooth pain with chewing or pressure.
  2. Sensitivity or pain to hot or cold temperatures.
  3. Discoloration or darkening of the tooth.
  4. Swelling and tenderness or pain in nearby gums.
  5. A recurring pimple on the gums.
  6. A loose tooth.

However, sometimes there are no symptoms, so it’s important to get your 6-month check-ups if you have any concerns.

What are the advantages of a root canal?

Root canals are necessary to save the tooth because they help prevent the spread of infection, they are a minimally invasive procedure, they help to alleviate pain from infection and inflammation, and prevents the formation of abscesses.

Root Canal Treatment at Simpli Dental:

We offer root canal treatments at both our Regina and Saskatoon dental offices. The cost of root canal treatment is dependent on a number of factors, including the number of roots that need to be treated and the complexity of treatment. Root canal treatment provided by Simpli Dental in Saskatoon and Regina starts at $510.


[1] What is a Root Canal? – American Association of Endodontists

[2]  A Highly Recommended Dental Procedure: Why Are Root Canals Necessary?