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Root Canal

What is a Root Canal Treatment?

When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or an infection, a root canal procedure is necessary.
In order to ensure tooth survival, the living tissue inside the tooth known as the pulp will have to be removed along with the nerves, bacteria, and overall decay.
The empty space is then filled with medicated dental materials, specially designed to restore the tooth to full functionality.

Symptoms that might require a Root Canal

A root canal is the best way to save a tooth that is infected and might die. Some people think taking out the tooth is the only solution, but this isn’t true.
Taking out a tooth can cost more since the infection could spread to other teeth. Root canals work well and in most cases, last a lifetime. If the tooth gets infected again, it can be treated easily.

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Do You Qualify for CDCP?

Dental coverage for uninsured, lower income BC Residents

Root Canal Procedure

Root canals might sound scary, but they’re a common dental procedure that can save your tooth. Here’s what happens during a root canal:


First, the dentist takes X-rays to see the shape of the root canals and check for signs of infection in the surrounding bone.
Step 01


You'll get local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. This means you won't feel pain during the procedure.
Step 02


The dentist makes an opening in the tooth to remove the damaged or infected pulp inside.
Step 03


After the bad pulp is out, the space is cleaned, shaped, and disinfected. Tiny files and irrigation solutions are used to get rid of all the germs.
Step 04


The clean canals are filled with a permanent material, often called gutta-percha. This helps keep the canals free of infection or contamination.
Step 05


The opening made in the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling. Later on, you'll need a permanent crown or filling to protect the tooth.
Step 06


Finally, you'll visit the dentist again to get the permanent crown or filling. This step is super important because it restores the tooth to its full function.
Step 07


Remember, after a root canal, your tooth may be sensitive for a few days. But this is normal and should go away with time. Always follow your dentist's advice for care after the procedure.
Step 08

Root Canal FAQs

Saving your tooth through endodontic treatment is less expensive and less invasive than an extraction and replacement with a bridge or implant. The cost will depend on your dental insurance coverage. Our staff will help with getting your insurance information and let you know the cost of your root canal.

Root canal treatments typically need several visits, each lasting 30-90 minutes. This can tire the jaw and muscles due to the mouth staying open.
Local anesthesia is generally effective in blocking pain during root canals but might fail if an infection has spread and altered the acidity in the surrounding tissue.
Teeth may darken post-treatment due to internal bleeding or filling materials, but whitening options are available for discoloured teeth.

At times, a root canal won’t be able to save your tooth. One of the best alternatives to root canal therapy is a tooth extraction. If your dentist recommends this dental procedure, you will also need a tooth implant or dental bridge in order to restore full functionality of your mouth and smile.

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system called digital radiography that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray equipment.

We are very sensitive to the fact that, no matter how well-informed you are about the procedure, you may still experience anxiety. Protecting your oral health is our top priority, and we don’t want you to forgo treatment because you’re fearful about the procedure. In that case we offer sedation options that will calm you so that you can get the treatment you need.

After your root canal procedure, you should be careful not to bite or chew on the treated tooth until it has recovered. We encourage all patients to practice good daily oral care that includes flossing and brushing.

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