Generally, following questions are asked on Root Canal Treatment :

How will I know if I need a root canal ?
How do the root canals become infected ?
Will there be any discoloration ?
Will my tooth be restored with a crown or a filling ?
Will I be in any pain after treatment ?
Will I be able to brush my teeth ?


How will I know if I need a root canal ?

Symptoms include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness felt when chewing, discoloration, swelling of the gum, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. It is possible, however, that there will be no symptoms at all.

How do the root canals become infected ?

There are a variety of causes, deep decay, repeated dental procedures, or a crack or chip in the tooth. An injury to a tooth may also cause pulp damage, even in cases where the tooth has no visible external damage. One the most common causes for this infection is an untreated cavity.

Another reason is when the pulp inside the tooth becomes inflamed from trauma or extensive restorative work which is why dentists are wary of applying a series of fillings to one tooth, in a short period of time.

Will there be any discoloration ?

Discoloration - you may notice that your treated tooth has changed color slightly. Your dentist can advise you on a range of tooth whitening procedures if the tooth is not restored with a crown.

Will my tooth be restored with a crown or a filling ?

Teeth, which have undergone root canal therapy, will need to be restored to full function.  Restoration is important as endodontically (RCT) treated teeth are susceptible to fracture, and any fracture could lead to a permanent loss of the tooth.

Restorations usually involve a composite filling or a full crown, depending on the strength of the remaining tooth. If the tooth does not have enough of its original structure to support the crown then a post will be cemented. This will extend into one or more of the canals. The post will not extend the length of the canals so they will remain sealed. The tooth will now be sealed, and restored to full function.

A non-vital tooth is more brittle than a vital one and is more liable to fracture so, in most cases, it is recommended that your root canal tooth be crowned (capped) following treatment.

Posterior teeth are not often restored with composite fillings because they are more exposed. They are usually restored with full crowns, covering and supporting the entire tooth, as well as maintaining the occlusion.

Will I be in any pain after treatment ?

You may experience some discomfort on the tooth that has been treated. If you are experiencing discomfort, avoid strenuous activities.

For pain, ibuprofen is recommended. However, you should always follow your doctor’s instructions concerning medication(s). If the prescribed medication is not effective in relieving the pain, please contact the office.

Will I be able to brush my teeth ?

A tooth that has undergone a root canal should be maintained in the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth at least once a day, preferably with fluoride toothpaste. Mouthwash is recommended. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water three to four times a day may also be helpful in relieving discomfort.