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Frequently Asked Questions on Root Canals

May 10, 2023
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Happy Root Canal Day! The month of May hosts Root Canal Awareness Week and Root Canal Day. Our list of FAQs on root canal therapy is designed to spread awareness about root canal therapy and what you can do to save your teeth and smile.


What is a root canal?

Root canal therapy or endodontic therapy is a safe and effective tooth-saving procedure used by dentists to save a fractured, chipped, or decayed tooth.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Your dentist will carefully inspect your tooth and use X-rays to view the inside of the affected tooth, allowing them to decide on the best treatment option. Let’s check out some common causes that entail a root canal treatment.

  • Deep decay from an untreated cavity.
  • Multiple dental procedures are performed on the same tooth.
  • A crack or chip in the tooth.
  • An injury to the tooth that causes the pulp to get damaged – even if the tooth appears fine externally.

When is a root canal essential?

 Tooth decay and a chip or crack in a tooth can inflame or infect the pulp (inside the tooth). To save the tooth, root canal therapy is required. If left untreated, an infected tooth’s infection might spread to neighbouring teeth and infect the surrounding gum tissue and bone.

What does a root canal procedure entail?

The injured or infected tooth tissue (pulp) is gently removed from the crown and roots of the tooth during a root canal. The pulp is the innermost component of the tooth, containing blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that nourishes the tooth’s root during development. After the pulp is removed, the canal is cleaned, disinfected, filled, and sealed. 

How long is the root canal procedure?

A root canal can take one to two hours to complete and is usually done in one session. You may need two dental visits to finish the procedure if the condition is severe. 

What are the advantages of root canal therapy?

A root canal rescues, repairs, and restores your natural tooth and keeps you from having it extracted. You will not experience acute pain as a result of the surgery. Not only is the affected tooth protected from infection, but so are the adjoining teeth, gums, and bones.

I have a fear of dental procedures; what can I do?

 Ashraf Dentistry offers Sedation Dentistry – an excellent option for individuals who experience anxiety or fear that revolves around visiting a dentist or requiring a dental procedure. During sedation dentistry, intravenous sedation is administered to help you relax so you feel no discomfort or pain during a dental procedure. The anesthetic dose is closely monitored, and your vital signs– such as oxygen saturation, heart rate, and respiratory rate, will be monitored continuously during the procedure.

Ashraf Dentistry offers single-needle sleep dentistry and anesthetic deep sleep dentistry. Anesthetic deep sleep dentistry is safe and can be performed once a month.

After a root canal, what does recovery look like? What is the best way to maintain oral health after a root canal?

After root canal therapy, you might experience some numbness in your mouth for a couple of hours. Once the anesthetic wears off, you won’t have the same excruciating pain you suffered before the treatment. However, you might experience some tenderness in the surrounding area for a few days.

Maintaining good oral hygiene after root canal therapy is vital because the canal must be kept clean. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and softly rinse your mouth. While on a temporary filling, avoid hard, hot, cold, chewy, and crunchy foods and stick to soft foods. Put no pressure on the teeth. Follow-up appointments are required so your dentist can confirm that everything is recovering properly.

Is there a way to accelerate the healing process?

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, or PRP, can help accelerate the normal healing process. Platelets are a critical component of the healing process – they help with clot formation and the release of growth factors into the wound.

Ashraf Dentistry offers (PRP) Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy. During this procedure, the dentist will harvest and fractionate large quantities of platelets and growth from your blood. The procedure is safe, convenient, cost-effective, and promotes faster healing.

Is there an alternative solution?

 Your tooth will not heal on its own if it is severely infected, chipped, or broken, and you will need a root canal. In most cases, tooth extraction is the only alternative to root canal therapy. Only your dentist can advise you on the best course of treatment and if there are alternatives based on the severity of the tooth’s condition and your medical history.


Thanks to modern medicine and technological advancements, root canal therapy is no longer the dreaded procedure it once used to be. This root canal month, spread the word about root canal treatment, including what it is and how it can help. If you require a root canal, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about sedative dentistry and Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy.

Ready when you are

Lamine Diallo
Lamine Diallo
02:21 15 Jun 22
My family and I have been receiving care from Dr. Ashraf and his amazing team since we first moved to Waterloo in 2002. His assessment skills are spot on, he is gentle and is very skilled at working with anxious\nervous patients. My dental hygienist is Lin who is very knowledgeable, and passionate about her work. She is amazingly gentle yet very,very thorough when it comes to preventative dental care. She is didactic as well, taking the time to teach patients how to use certain equipment as well as addressing gingivitis in pro-active ways. We are in very capable hands.
Trisa Kapetaneas
Trisa Kapetaneas
18:12 01 Jun 22
I have been a patient here for over 2 years now and I've always enjoyed the experience. The staff are professional and have always made me feel comfortable. I recently had a cleaning done by Lynn for the first time and she was amazing! Will continue to visit for my checkups/cleanings.
Aamir Mirza
Aamir Mirza
14:54 03 May 22
Dr. Ashraf and his team is amazing. All work done under one umbrella for entire family. We all are very happy to be under the care for the last 20 plus years. Lin, dental hygienist is remarkable professional. She knows her job so well that I look forward to my cleaning every time I'm scheduled. Thank you Lin for your amazing work for my entire family!
Alena Delena
Alena Delena
14:50 02 May 22
My family loves Dr Ashraf. We've been through many dentists in many cities and he's by far our favourite one. He's always thorough and professional. His referrals are also of equal high caliber. I went to him for a root canal and a crown. I had many concerns and he addressed them all personally. He even went so far as to redo a root canal for me. Recommend.
Nicole Wood
Nicole Wood
15:31 28 Apr 22
I found Ashraf Dentistry a year ago and I absolutely love their dental clinic. Everyone is very kind and thorough. Lin is the best dental hygienist I've ever had! She takes the time to ensure I receive the care I need. Both dentists I've seen have also been very kind and wonderful at making me feel like my teeth are being taken care of. Highly recommend!
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