You’re likely used to seeing TV shows with actors, wide-eyed in terror, as they await their root canal. The truth couldn’t be further from this horrifying image. In fact, if you’ve had a root canal, then you probably know that they’re very similar to standard fillings, with just about the same level of pain.

And root canals are pretty common, too, with about 15 million performed each year.

At A&N Dental in Tempe, Arizona, Dr. Mandana Kheshtchin and her team are here to provide you with effective and painless solutions to all of your dental care needs. We’ve compiled this helpful guide to root canals and everything you need to know about this simple procedure.

Before: Why you’d need a root canal

We often stress the importance of noticing tooth pain specifically because it’s one of the first signs that you need a root canal. This sort of pain is most noticeable when chewing or biting down on something.

There are some other signs that you may need a root canal, including:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • A dark brown or black spot on your tooth

This is also why it’s good to keep regular dental appointments once every six months, as we can catch any signs of infection that indicate the need for a root canal.

During: How a root canal works

Your root canal begins with a topical anesthetic that numbs the area we’ll work on. You can rest assured that your gums and teeth will be numb to any pain or discomfort.

Afterward, we drill a small hole into your teeth, through which we can remove any damaged pulp tissues and bacteria. After clearing it out, we then fill and seal your tooth.

The whole procedure typically takes about an hour to 90 minutes to complete, depending on the extent of the damage. If your tooth is badly decayed, you may need another appointment to complete the procedure or a covering like a dental crown or veneer.

After: Caring for your teeth

You can return home shortly after your root canal, whenever you feel that you’re ready. Your face and mouth may feel numb for a bit, but you can expect to regain feeling after a few hours. Keep in mind that as the anesthesia wears off you may need pain relievers.

You’ll still need to take good care of your teeth after your root canal, so be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss them at least once a day. To get needed root canal treatment, call us at one of our two convenient locations or make an appointment right on our website today.