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Root Canals

To save a tooth that's been damaged due to infection or decay, our dentists can perform root canals to prevent the need for an extraction and protect the other teeth.

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Root Canals, New Westminster Dentist

Treating Damaged & Infected Teeth

The thought of a root canal can be enough to make many people dread visiting the dentist. After all, you've already got a painful tooth - you don't want anyone poking and prodding at this sensitive area. However, root canal therapy is actually a relatively simple, straightforward procedure your dentist can perform to prevent further damage and save an infected tooth from extraction.

Inside the hard layers of each of our teeth, we have a root canal system filled with soft dental pulp. This pulp is made of nerves, blood vessels and tissue that help a tooth grow and develop. When bacteria enter through cracks, flawed fillings or deep cavities in the tooth, infection can develop.

Root canal therapy stops infection in its tracks, and most patients feel minimal discomfort during the procedure. While you may require oral dental sedation, the procedure can be completed in one or two appointments. 

The Root Canal Procedure

To start, your dentist will drill through the tooth to access the root canals and pulp chamber. Next, they will remove diseased tissue from the tooth, before cleaning and disinfecting the inner chamber and filling it with medicated material to prevent infection.

Lastly, the tooth will generally be capped with a dental crown for additional strength and stability.

It is normal to experience mild discomfort after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain medications can help alleviate the discomfort.

Root Canal FAQs

Here are some common questions we've received about root canals at Life Dental:

  • How should I care for my tooth after a root canal?

    We recommend gently brushing and flossing teeth immediately after the procedure once the numbing agent has worn off. Rinse your mouth with saltwater to prevent infection, eat soft foods and do not put pressure on your mouth. Follow your dentist's specific instructions and aftercare directions closely.

    You may return to your normal oral hygiene routine and diet after receiving your root canal.

  • What does a root canal feel like?

    Root canal therapy can help relieve pain and keep your mouth healthy. The treatment is no more painful than a filling, and the affected area will be frozen with anesthetic during the procedure.

  • How long does a root canal take?

    A root canal may take one to two appointments depending on the amount of infection in your tooth. On average, the procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

    Treatment on a larger tooth with multiple roots can take up to an hour and a half.

  • What are some signs I need a root canal?

    Contact us if you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms of infection. Our dental team can diagnose the issue and develop a treatment plan.

    • Tenderness and/or swelling
    • Severe tooth pain
    • An abscess (pimple) on the gums
    • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Will my insurance cover a root canal?

    Many insurance companies offer dental coverage that includes procedures such as root canal treatment. Depending on your coverage, you may be able to claim most, if not all, of the cost of a root canal.

    To determine whether your root canal therapy will be covered by your policy, check with your insurance provider.

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