What to Expect During and After Your Root Canal

What to Expect During and After Your Root Canal

The mere mention of a root canal makes even the toughest person a little nervous. Root canals are portrayed in popular culture as a big, scary procedure; however, the reality is much less dramatic, and its benefits are immense. 

A root canal can save a severely compromised tooth from an extraction, which benefits your oral health and your mouth’s bone structure in the long run. Dr. Wenli Loo and Dr. Steve Deng have extensive experience restoring natural smiles with root canals at LivWell Dentistry in San Francisco and San Ramon, California. 

Getting a root canal with their expertise will feel like a walk in the park. Here, they detail what the procedure entails and what you can expect before and after your appointment.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure done to treat an infected root canal and prevent it from getting reinfected. When the pulp inside your tooth becomes inflamed or infected due to decay, a crack, or trauma, a root canal is often the best solution to relieve pain and save your tooth. 

Choosing a root canal instead of having a tooth pulled will help you maintain the structural integrity of your teeth and jawbone. The procedure will help restore functionality to the affected tooth, letting you eat and chew easily when it’s healed. Additionally, a root canal can prevent bacteria from the infected tooth from spreading to other parts of your mouth. 

What to expect from the process

Getting a root canal at LivWell Dentistry begins with a thorough examination to determine the extent of damage to the tooth and if a root canal can save it. 

The procedure

The affected tooth and surrounding gum will first be numbed with local anesthesia to ensure you feel no pain as the pulp is removed. We then make an opening in the crown of the tooth to access the infected or inflamed pulp, which we then carefully remove.

Once all the infected pulp is removed, we carefully clean and disinfect the root canal before shaping it to prepare for the filling material. The cleaned canal is then filled with a biocompatible material, usually gutta percha, and sealed with an adhesive cement. This step is crucial to prevent bacteria from re-entering the root canal and allow the tooth to heal.

After the root canal is filled and sealed, the final step is to place a crown or filling to restore your tooth’s shape, appearance, and functionality, ensuring it feels and functions as well as your other teeth. While your permanent crown is made, typically taking a few days, you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown. The entire process can be completed in one or two visits, depending on how complex your case is.


The restored tooth may feel a little sensitive or uncomfortable after the procedure, but this usually subsides after a few days. We may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to manage any discomfort. Avoid sticky or very hard foods while your temporary crown is in to prevent dislodging or damaging it.

You don’t have to dread a root canal. With the right dentist, it can be a straightforward and near-painless procedure that saves your tooth. Schedule your appointment with us online, or call us at 415-477-3700 today to maintain your winning smile.


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