What Is a Root Canal?

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure used to treat an infection or inflammation of the tooth pulp, commonly referred to as the “nerve.” The nerve lies within the center of the tooth and comprises blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves. When the infection is severe enough to reach the nerve, it can cause serious pain and may lead to an abscessed tooth. During a root canal at Belmont Dental Associates, the dentist will make a small opening in the tooth to access the infected nerve tissue and the damaged tooth pulp. The dentist will remove the nerve tissues, clean the tooth canal, and fill the canal with a sealant called gutta percha. 

Why Is a Root Canal Necessary?

A root canal is necessary when decay reaches the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth and is where the nerve is located. Once this happens, the infected area is cleaned and disinfected. Afterward, the nerve is removed, and a filling is used to seal the opening. The crown is placed over the tooth to cap it and restore its structure. If you are experiencing any symptoms of an infected or abscessed tooth, visit your dentist immediately for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

What Does the Procedure Involve?

A root canal treatment involves:

  • Removing the infected pulp from inside the tooth.
  • Cleaning the living tissue from inside and around the tooth roots.
  • Sealing the tooth to prevent re-infection.

Many patients describe a root canal as no more painful than a regular filling, and many don’t even require a local anesthetic. Some patients report minor tenderness in the days following the procedure, but any pain should dissipate quickly with over-the-counter pain medication.

What Happens After a Root Canal?

After a root canal, your tooth may be tender and sensitive for a few days. The dentist will recommend an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve any soreness you experience. Your tooth may feel cold when you eat or drink for the first few days after treatment. This sensation will eventually go away on its own. You may also notice some discoloration of your tooth after root canal treatment, but this is a normal part of the healing process. 

Call our dentist immediately if you notice any other symptoms or complications after your root canal procedure. For the best dental care, visit Belmont Dental Associates at 3210 E Market St, York, PA 17402, or call (717) 848-1463.


3210 E Market St, York, PA 17402

Phone: (717) 848-1463

Email: info@belmontdentalyork.com

  • MON: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • TUE: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • WED: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • THU: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI - SUN: Closed
Contact Us