Root canal therapy, often simply referred to as a root canal, is a dental procedure that is essential in treating infection at the center of a tooth (the root canal system). This treatment is not only pivotal in relieving pain but also crucial in preventing the spread of infection and saving the tooth.

Key Takeaways

Pain ReliefRoot canal therapy alleviates tooth pain
Infection PreventionStops the spread of infection in the tooth
Tooth PreservationAvoids the need for tooth extraction
Improved Oral HealthEnhances overall dental health
Aesthetic and Functional BenefitsRestores tooth appearance and function

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment involves several steps over one or more dental visits. At Lansdowne Family Dental, our expert team ensures each step is performed with utmost precision and care.

  1. Diagnosis and X-ray: The process begins with an accurate diagnosis, often involving X-rays to determine the extent of the tooth damage.
  2. Local Anesthesia: To ensure patient comfort, local anesthesia is administered to numb the tooth and surrounding area.
  3. Pulpectomy: An opening is made, and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.
  4. Cleaning and Shaping: The root canal is cleaned, disinfected, and shaped.
  5. Filling: The root canal is filled with a biocompatible material, usually gutta-percha.
  6. Sealing and Restoration: The opening is sealed with a temporary filling, and eventually, a crown or other restoration is placed to protect and restore the tooth.

Why Might You Need a Root Canal?

A root canal is typically recommended when there is an infection deep within the tooth. This can be caused by various factors such as deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma. The signs indicating a root canal might be necessary include severe toothache, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums, and a persistent or recurring pimple on the gums.

Regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings are vital in preventing such infections and identifying them early when they occur.

Myths and Misconceptions About Root Canals

  • Painful Treatment: Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy today is no more painful than getting a filling.
  • Tooth Removal is Better: Many believe extraction is a better solution, but nothing beats preserving your natural tooth.
  • Causes Illness: Some myths suggest root canals cause illness, which is unsupported by scientific evidence.

Benefits of Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment offers numerous benefits, not just for your oral health but also for your overall well-being.

  1. Eliminates Pain: Many patients seek root canal treatment due to severe pain caused by pulp infection. This procedure effectively removes the infected pulp, thereby alleviating pain.
  2. Stops Infection: The treatment halts the spread of infection, protecting not only the affected tooth but also neighboring teeth.
  3. Saves Natural Teeth: By treating and preserving the infected tooth, root canal therapy helps avoid the need for tooth extraction and subsequent dental implants or bridges.

Post-Procedure Care for a Root Canal

After a root canal, it’s crucial to follow specific care instructions to ensure a quick and smooth recovery. Here are some tips:

  • Temporary Sensitivity: Some discomfort and sensitivity are normal. Pain relievers can help manage this.
  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
  • Avoid Hard Foods: Until the final restoration is done, avoid chewing hard foods on the treated tooth to prevent damage.
  • Follow-Up Visits: Attend follow-up visits to ensure the tooth is healing properly.

Root Canal Therapy at Lansdowne Family Dental

At Lansdowne Family Dental, we prioritize patient comfort and effective treatment. Our experienced dentists use advanced techniques and equipment to ensure your root canal procedure is as painless and efficient as possible. We also offer sedation dentistry services for patients who feel anxious about dental procedures.

Replacing a Tooth Post-Root Canal: Options at Lansdowne Family Dental

In cases where a tooth cannot be saved even with root canal therapy, we provide several replacement options:

  • Dental Implants: A durable and natural-looking option for replacing a lost tooth.
  • Dental Bridges: A less invasive option than implants for replacing one or more missing teeth.
  • Dentures: Suitable for patients missing several or all teeth.

Each of these options has its own set of benefits, which you can explore in detail on our tooth implant, dental bridge, and denture implants pages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment, while common, often brings up several questions among patients. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers:

Is Root Canal Therapy Safe?

  • Yes, it’s a safe and effective procedure with a high success rate. Complications are rare when performed by skilled professionals.

How Long Does a Root Canal Last?

  • With proper care, a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy can last a lifetime. Regular dental check-ups are crucial in maintaining its health.

Does Insurance Cover Root Canal Therapy?

  • Most dental insurance plans provide some coverage for root canal treatment. It’s always best to check with your insurance provider for specific details.

Success Rate of Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy has a very high success rate, and many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime. However, the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the extent of infection, the patient’s overall oral health, and the skill of the dental professional. At Lansdowne Family Dental, our experienced dentists ensure the highest standard of care to maximize the success rate of the procedure.

The Importance of Expert Dental Care

Choosing the right dental clinic for your root canal treatment is vital. At Lansdowne Family Dental, we combine expertise, experience, and the latest technology to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. Our commitment to patient care extends beyond root canal therapy, encompassing a wide range of services including cosmetic dentistry, periodontal therapy, and CEREC same-day restorations.


Root canal therapy is a vital procedure for preserving natural teeth and maintaining oral health. Understanding what a root canal is, its benefits, and the importance of expert care can help alleviate any apprehensions about the procedure. At Lansdowne Family Dental, our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Whether you need a routine check-up, a complex root canal treatment, or any other dental service, we are here to ensure your dental health is in the best hands.