Everything You Need To Know About Root Canals

tooth diagram of a root canal

With root canal treatment (or endodontic treatment), you can preserve infected or badly decayed teeth. But what makes a root canal procedure different from a typical cavity filling?

Here’s something you might not know: The word “endodontichas its roots in the Greek language; “endo” is the Greek prefix for “within”, and “odont” means “tooth”. Now you know what endodontic therapy refers to!

Nervous about your upcoming dental procedure? We’re going to offer you some peace of mind. Here’s all you need to know about root canal therapy:

Who Needs a Root Canal?

You might suspect that something is awry with one of your teeth; it may have changed colour, become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, or started to ache. Is your toothache from a cavity, or could it be caused by something else?

Once a bacterial infection reaches the nerve tissue and blood vessels, it can lead to infected pulp. In these situations, a root canal is necessary to save the tooth.

Does It Hurt?

The idea that root canals are painful dates back to an earlier time in dentistry. Thanks to dental advancements, the procedure is similar to a regular filling procedure.

In reality, root canal treatment is intended to relieve pain. When you have an infected tooth, it often causes severe pain, especially if the infection spreads to your adjacent teeth.

Using local anaesthesia, your dentist will ensure your mouth is completely numb for your root canal treatment. If you have an upcoming appointment, don’t worry: The tooth pain caused by an infection is much greater than that of a root canal in Winnipeg

Why are root canals necessary?

The roots of a tooth contain parts like your blood vessels, connective tissues, and dental pulp. When bacteria reach the innermost layers of a tooth, the only way to save the tooth is through root canal therapy.

During the root canal treatment, your dentist will apply a rubber dam to isolate the root canal infection from your surrounding teeth. They will drill a small access hole into your tooth. Then, they’ll remove the diseased pulp tissue and decayed nerve tissue. Your dentist will disinfect the area and fill it with gutta percha (a filling material).

Most root canal treatments require more than only one appointment. That’s because your dentist will use a temporary filling while the root canal heals; at a later date, they’ll replace it with a permanent filling. Your tooth will need a crown or filling for structural support. For especially large fillings, you may need a custom crown.

Myths About Root Canal Treatment

There are plenty of misconceptions about root canals. We’re going to clear up a few common ones:

Myth: You should get your tooth pulled instead of trying root canal therapy.

In reality, it’s best to try saving your natural tooth instead of having it pulled. Once a tooth is extracted, tooth replacement options are costly (including dentures, dental implants, and bridges). At Fresh Dental, we always try to preserve natural teeth whenever possible. 

Myth: Root canals will make you sick.

This myth has been around for ages, but recently, it’s gained more popularity due to a recent Netflix documentary. The idea came from a study that’s over 100 years old, claiming that root canals caused illness. Even though it was debunked long ago, the myth remains. 

A root canal is designed to eliminate bacteria in your mouth—not spread it throughout your body. There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that root canals make you sick or cause cancer. Not only is this idea harmful (as it may encourage a patient to extract a tooth that could be saved), but it’s downright false.


What can you do to avoid needing root canal treatment? Here’s our advice:

  • Wear sportguards for contact sports. Whenever your teeth are damaged (either by cracks, impact damage, or tooth decay), it leaves them at risk for a root canal problem to develop. Try to avoid foods that can damage your teeth, including ice, hard candies, and tough meats. If you play contact sports, be sure to wear a mouthguard.
  • Book regular dental cleanings and exams. If you have natural teeth with deep decay, a dental filling might not be enough. Your dentist needs to remove the dead pulp tissue, too. 
  • Talk to your dentist about bruxism. Do you grind or clench your teeth? This can wear away your tooth enamel, which may expose the pulp within your tooth. A weakened tooth is more likely to break or crack. Prevent damage by asking your dentist about a night guard. 

Book Your Root Canal Today

Do you need a root canal? This highly successful procedure can prevent you from needing a tooth extraction. If you’d like to learn more about the root canal cost, or you’d like to schedule this pain-relieving treatment, Fresh Dental is here for you. 

At our Winnipeg dental centre, we offer a range of dental procedures, including root canal treatment. Whether you need a crown or filling, contact us today!