How Do You Know If You Need A Root Canal?

If you are experiencing various dental symptoms, you may wonder if you need a root canal. The sooner you recognize these symptoms and seek dental care, the better the outcome will be. Everyone should be aware of the signs that may require a root canal treatment.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a common option for treating a damaged or infected tooth. It's similar to a routine filling and typically requires one or two appointments at a dental office. First, the dentist or endodontist will apply a topical numbing medication on the gums around the affected tooth before injecting a local anesthetic. You may feel a quick but sharp pinch or burn when they do this. The anesthetic helps prevent pain during the procedure, for which you will generally remain awake.

Once the tooth is numb, they will drill a small hole in the top of the tooth, exposing the dental pulp. They will clean the pulp out and coat the inside of the tooth with an antibiotic to clear the infection prevent reinfection. The dental provider will then fill and seal the tooth.

Numbness or discomfort for a few hours after the procedure is common, although most patients return to their normal routines the same day. Some patients will require a second dental appointment for a permanent filling or a crown on the tooth.

How Do You Know If You Need A Root Canal?

The following signs and symptoms may reveal that you need a root canal and should be discussed with your dental provider:

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

Are Root Canals Common?

Root canals are a common and routine procedure for saving infected teeth. Over 15 million are performed every year in the U.S. In fact, the average endodontist—a root canal specialist—performs about 25 root canals every week.

What are the Alternatives to a Root Canal?

Removing the tooth’s pulp with a root canal procedure is the only way to save a natural tooth with damaged, inflamed, or infected dental pulp. Cleanings or fillings won't fix the problem when it's this severe. The only alternative is a tooth extraction—removing the tooth altogether. Then, to maintain proper dental alignment and be able to chew and speak properly, the extracted tooth will need to be replaced with a bridge, implant, or partial denture. Root canals allow dental providers to save the teeth and avoid the need to replace an extracted tooth.

Root Canals at Oakland Dental Care

Learn more about root canal procedures and if you need one at Oakland Dental Care. Our compassionate dental professionals can explain what's going on in your mouth and offer the best treatment options available. Contact us today at 201-337-7733 or request an appointment online. 

How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures. It is a restorative method to save a tooth that has extensive damage or an infection. In many cases a root canal can save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted. 


Do you have a tooth that needs a root canal? If your dentist has recommended a root canal, you may be wondering how long the procedure takes. In this article you will learn about the root canal process and how long it takes. 

What is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is the inner chamber of a tooth that contains the dental pulp, a soft tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves. The procedure is named for the root canal because the dental pulp is removed and the tooth is filled with a replacement material. 

Steps in the Root Canal Procedure 

A root canal procedure involves the following steps: 

  1. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the nerves while the tooth is being treated. 
  2. A small hole is made in the tooth to access the root canal. 
  3. The dental pulp is removed from the tooth. 
  4. The root canal is cleaned and disinfected. 
  5. An infection resistant filler material is placed in the root canal to replace the dental pulp. 
  6. The tooth is sealed. 
  7. A dental crown is placed over the tooth in most cases. 

Average  Length of a Root Canal Procedure 

On average, a root canal may take about an hour. The procedure could range anywhere from 30 minutes for a simple root canal to 90 minutes for a complex root canal. There are a number of factors that may determine how long a root canal takes for an individual. 

Factors That Affect the Length of a Root Canal Procedure

The length of a root canal procedure can vary due to the following factors:


Why Choose Oakland Dental Care? 

If you need a root canal, Oakland Dental Care provides efficient and gentle care. We take the time to make sure you are comfortable, but we also respect your time and treat your tooth in a reasonable timeframe. 

Call 201-337-7733 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

Is a root canal painful? 

With anesthesia you should feel no pain during a root canal. Local anesthesia is usually sufficient to make the procedure comfortable for most patients. But if you would prefer, sedation is available to ease anxiety and help you feel more relaxed. 

How long will the tooth last after a root canal?

In many cases a tooth that has been restored with a root canal can last for the rest of your life. If the tooth receives a crown after the root canal, it may need to be replaced after 10 or 15 years, but the tooth material and root underneath it should remain intact.