Root Canal Treatment
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Reasons for Procedure
- Pain when biting down on a tooth
- Pain when the tooth is not being used
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food or beverages
- Tooth discoloration
- Swollen gums around the infected tooth
- A draining boil-like structure (called a fistula) on the gum adjacent to the tooth
- Pain and swelling
- Surgical-wound infection
- Persistent abscess
- Inability to save the tooth
- Immune system disorders
- Bleeding disorders
- Circulatory problems that can cause healing problems, such as diabetes
What to Expect
Prior to the Procedure
- Do a thorough dental exam
- X-ray your mouth to look at the extent of damage to the tooth
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
- Permanently seal the area
- Place a gold or porcelain crown over the tooth to strengthen its structure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- See your dentist for a follow-up x-ray as scheduled.
- Be sure to follow your dentist's instructions .
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the area around the tooth
- Tooth loosens after root canal treatment
- Headache, muscle aches, lightheadedness, or general discomfort
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association http://www.mouthhealthy.org
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research http://www.nidcr.nih.gov
Canadian Dental Association http://www.cda-adc.ca
Canadian Dental Hygienists Association http://www.cdha.ca
Root canals. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/r/root-canals. Accessed January 13, 2015.
What is a root canal? Academy of General Dentistry website. Available at: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=R&iid=326&aid=1310. Updated January 2012. Accessed January 13, 2015.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 08/15/2012 -