All About Root Canals

Many people will need to have a root canal treatment at some point in their life. Root canals are a standard procedure for our Kemptville & Kanata dentists. Learn everything you'll need to know about root canals .

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What is a Root Canal

A root canal is a series of procedures performed on somebody to save an infected tooth. Root canals, formerly known as an endodontic treatment is one of the more intimidating dental procedures people have to undergo but it isn’t nearly as scary as people may think!

Removing the mystery surrounding a root canal surgery and telli mg you exactly what is done is a great way to put your mind at ease so you hopefully won’t avoid the treatment in the future! Your teeth will thank you!

Tooth Extraction in progress
Man massaging his jaw to relieve pain.

When Are Root Canals Necessary?

Root canals are necessary when someone has a badly inflamed tooth. This can happen for many reasons! It could be poor oral hygiene, or it could simply be a cracked crown!
The infection occurs when bacteria makes its way into the pulp of the tooth (the tissue inside the tooth) and causes it to become infected and inflamed. It will often times be quite painful for the patient, which is another motivating factor to not avoid root canal surgery and allow us to help you.

How Is A Root Canal Performed?

A root canal treatment is performed in 1-2 appointments depending on the progression of the infection in your mouth, and is broken down into 8 simple steps.

Local Anesthesia

One of our dental experts will administer a local anesthetic to the tooth and surrounding area, essentially “freezing” your mouth so you don’t feel any pain during the treatment!

Apply a Dental Dam

Once your mouth is frozen, our dental expert will insert a flexible dental dam to cover the unaffected teeth in your mouth to reduce the threat of bacteria spreading from the infected tooth during the treatment! This dental dam is typically made out of vinyl or rubber.

Woman with a big smile sitting in a dental chair.


Now we are ready for the healing no to begin! In order for our dental expert to access the infection in the tissue below your tooth, they will drill a small hole in your tooth! Don’t worry you won’t feel any pain at all, it will feel just like you’re getting a filling.

Remove Nerves & Infected Tissue

Now it’s time to remove all the nerves and infected tissue from your infected tooth. Our dental professionals will remove all infected tissue and nerves through the tiny hole they drilled. You won't be able to feel any pain once the nerves have been removed from the tooth!


This is the most important part of the treatment: disinfecting your tooth! Our dental expert will make sure there is no remaining bacteria in or surrounding your tooth to make sure you are ready for the next step!

Insert Flexible Root Canal Tools

Now that your tooth is completely disinfected, it’s time for us to insert a flexible tool into your mouth that will help us to shape the area where the filling will be inserted to prevent any further infection! This is a quick and painless process.

Apply the Filling

Now it’s time to apply the filler and sealant to the tooth! This will prevent the tooth from becoming infected again in the future. Once the sealant is applied to the filling, this is typically the last step in the process! There are some who need a post during this treatment, so we will walk you through that as well.

Apply Post if Needed

A post may be inserted into your tooth during the filling process to help keep a tooth in place, but that is totally dependent on the structure of your tooth! If a post is required, your dental professional will inform you ahead of time.

One your root canal treatment is complete, most patients are prescribed an antibiotic to help you fight off any remaining infection there may be.

It is normal to experience minor pain and tenderness around the treated area after your anesthetic wears off, but this should only last a couple days. A small price to pay for excellent dental health!

dental care in kemptville

Root Canals: Fact vs. Fiction

There is such a stigma surrounding root canal treatments, rumours and myths have been treated as fact for far too long. We are here to put your mind at ease and separate the fact from the fiction for you!

The Treatment is Painful

Back in the day, this statement had some truth to it. However, with all the advancements of modern technology combined with new treatment methods having a root canal performed is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled.

The Treatment Causes Illness

This rumor has been around for nearly a century, and it is simply untrue. This accusation was put forth long before we had a modern understanding of dental treatments and medicine in general. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Tooth Extraction is Better than a Root Canal

It’s a fact that preserving a natural tooth is always going to be a better option than extracting a tooth. Medical advancements have come a long way and a dental implant comes close to the feel of a natural tooth, but that requires extensive surgery and a lengthy recovery time.

Flippers and dental bridges are another option, however they require more maintenance and treatments for the remaining teeth in your mouth. Trust the experts and opt for a root canal treatment. It’s the safest bet!