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What to Expect Before, During, and After Your Root Canal

Root canals have a bad reputation, but largely it’s undeserved. At Today’s Dentistry, Dr. Peter Lee and his team understand your fears and concerns when it comes to getting a root canal and want to give you the best information so you feel confident when walking in for your appointment. 

The basics of a root canal

If you need a root canal, it means one or more of your permanent teeth are severely infected or decayed. Dr. Lee needs to remove the nerves and pulp from the affected teeth or else you can develop abscesses and other infections in the tissues surrounding your teeth. 

Although you’ll need Dr. Lee’s expertise to determine whether you need a root canal, pay attention to any severe tooth pain, chronic sensitivity, swollen or tender gums, black or brown coloration to your teeth, or pimples on your gums as these are common signs and symptoms that you need a root canal. 

Here’s some information about what you can expect before, during, and after your root canal:

Before your root canal

First, Dr. Lee needs to run some tests to make sure a root canal is the best course of action. He uses a series of tools like X-rays and can even test the sensitivity of your teeth with hot and cold stimuli.

If a root canal is necessary, there’s very little you need to do to prepare for it. Most often, Dr. Lee uses a simple local anesthetic to numb the area that will be treated so there’s no need to fast before arriving at your appointment. It might be best to wear loose-fitting clothing so you’re more comfortable and at ease during the procedure. 

During your root canal

If you’re worried about your root canal being painful, don’t be. To begin, Dr. Lee applies an anesthetic to your teeth and gums, so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. 

Dr. Lee positions a rubber dam around the tooth to keep it protected and dry. Then, he creates a small opening at the top of your tooth to reach and removes the infected pulp, nerves, and tissues. Dr. Lee then cleans the area with an antiseptic rinse, fills the hole with a rubber-like material, and fashions a customized crown to protect your tooth. This entire process takes an average of ninety minutes to complete. 

After your root canal

You’ve made it through the hardest part, and now you need to focus on recovery. After your root canal, you’ll likely experience some sensitivity or slight discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers are the best remedies for any irritation or discomfort you feel. 

We recommend that you significantly minimize any chewing or putting any force on the tooth. This will help the permanent filling and crown set completely, reduce the chance of infection, and promote proper healing. 


You don’t have to suffer another day with intense tooth pain or the fear of fixing it with a root canal. If you suspect you need a root canal or simply want more information, call our office or schedule an appointment online today.

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