Facing the prospect of a root canal can be a source of anxiety for many people. However, understanding what the procedure involves and how to prepare can help alleviate some of that anxiety. 

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the root canal procedure, what to expect during the process, and tips on how to prepare for it. 

Whether you’re in Canada or anywhere else, this information is invaluable for anyone facing this dental treatment.

Root Canal Procedure

The Basics of Root Canal Treatment

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure designed to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. It involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning the inside of the tooth, and sealing it to prevent further infection.

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

Root canals are typically required when the pulp inside a tooth becomes inflamed or infected due to deep decay, a cracked tooth, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold, and swelling around the affected tooth.

The Procedure

A root canal procedure generally consists of the following steps:

Local Anesthesia: The area around the affected tooth is numbed to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.

Access Opening: The dentist creates a small access hole in the crown of the tooth to reach the infected pulp.

Cleaning and Shaping: The infected pulp is removed, and the interior of the tooth is cleaned and shaped.

Filling: After cleaning, the tooth is filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.

Restoration: In most cases, a tooth that has had a root canal will require a crown to protect and strengthen it.

What to Expect During the Procedure

1. Minimal Discomfort

Contrary to common misconceptions, root canals are not painful procedures. With modern anesthesia and techniques, you may experience minimal discomfort during the process.

2. Efficient and Effective

Root canals are highly effective at saving teeth that would otherwise require extraction. They allow you to retain your natural tooth, preventing the need for replacement options like dental implants.

3. Multiple Appointments

In some cases, root canals may require more than one appointment, especially if there is significant infection or inflammation.

Preparing for a Root Canal

1. Consultation

Before the procedure, you will typically have a consultation with your dentist or endodontist. During this consultation, discuss any concerns you may have and ask any questions about the procedure.

2. Discuss Anesthesia

If you are anxious about the procedure, talk to your dentist about the type of anesthesia or sedation options available to make you more comfortable during the root canal.

3. Arrange Transportation

While root canals are not typically associated with significant post-procedure discomfort, you may want to arrange transportation to and from your appointment, especially if you opt for sedation.

4. Follow Pre-Procedure Instructions

Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions to follow before the root canal. This may include dietary restrictions or guidance on any medications you should take or avoid.


A root canal procedure may seem intimidating, but it is a vital dental treatment that can save your natural teeth and relieve pain caused by infection or inflammation. Understanding what to expect and how to prepare can help ease your anxiety and ensure a successful outcome.

If you are in Canada and in need of a root canal, consider reaching out to a family dental office. They can provide you with expert dental care, answer your questions, and guide you through the entire process.

Your comfort and oral health are their top priorities, and they are here to help you through this process with care and expertise.