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Root Canals: What to Expect & How to Prepare for the Procedure?

If you’ve been told you need a root canal, you may be feeling a range of emotions — from fear and anxiety to confusion and uncertainty. It’s normal to feel scared of the unknown, but educating yourself about the procedure can help alleviate some of these feelings. A root canal is a common dental procedure that is used to repair decayed or infected teeth. During the procedure, your dentist will remove the diseased pulp, clean the inside of your tooth, and fill the empty space with a special material. While it sounds scary, the truth is that root canals are not as bad as they may seem. In this article, we’ll discuss what to expect and how to prepare for the procedure.

Preparing for the procedure

Before undergoing the root canal procedure, it’s important to discuss your medical history with your dentist. Depending on your health and medications, your dentist might recommend a local anesthetic or IV sedation. Before the procedure, your dentist will clean your teeth and apply a local anesthetic to the infected tooth. While the needle is not as painful as you may think, it’s important to stay still and breathe normally.

What happens during a root canal?

During a root canal, your dentist will clean and disinfect the infected root canal. They will also remove the infected tissue and fill the empty space with a special root canal filling material. The procedure is typically performed while you are under local anesthesia or sedation. Your dentist will start by drilling a small hole, called a pulp chamber, into the tooth. They will then remove the diseased pulp and clean the root canal. Next, they will use a special filling material, called gutta-percha, to fill the empty space.

After the procedure

The dental crown will be placed over the treated tooth to ensure its long-term health. The incision site will be flushed with saline solution to prevent infection. You should see improvement in symptoms after the first treatment. If not, you can try taking antibiotics, over-the-counter painkillers, and ice packs to reduce swelling and inflammation. Resuming your regular diet is also recommended, but do eat a soft diet. Hard food should be avoided to prevent damage to the treated tooth. After a few days, you should feel no pain and have no difficulty eating or drinking. If the pain persists even after taking painkillers, you should see your dentist right away.

Tips to manage pain after a root canal

Rest is important after undergoing a root canal procedure. Avoid strenuous activities until your dentist gives you the green light. Drinking lots of fluids is also recommended. You can also use over-the-counter painkillers, like Advil or Tylenol. Ice packs can help reduce swelling and inflammation. You can also try natural pain relievers, like lavender oil or peppermint oil. It’s important to note that root canal is usually a one-time treatment. In some cases, the tooth may need a small amount of additional treatment. It’s important to visit your dentist for regular checkups to prevent further damage to your teeth.


Root canals are not always as scary as they sound. By preparing for the procedure and educating yourself about what to expect, you can reduce your anxiety and ensure a smooth and successful treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call. Book an appointment today with A&B Dental Clinic.  Call us at 604-877-0664.

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