Root Canal Treatment – The Process, Do’s & Don’ts, Side Effects

What is Root Canal Treatment?

If your tooth suffers from injury or deep cavity and the internal nerves are damaged, then Root Canal Treatment is the treatment done. The tooth has a root, which when gets damaged, causes massive pain and sensitivity even to normal food and liquid at normal temperature. Damaged root of tooth causes infection, which should be curtailed at the earliest.

Causes for damaged root may be wrong food habits, some medication which over the time deteriorates the tooth enamel or any injury or accident. But worst problem occurs when root of the tooth is damaged which often makes the tooth pain unbearable.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

In Root Canal Treatment, the damaged tooth pulp which causes sensitivity is removed. The following are the causes for a damaged tooth pulp:

  • Repeated dental treatment on tooth.
  • Deep cavity.
  • Cracked tooth.

When one does not follow proper dental care and hygiene then internal damaging of tooth occurs leading to tooth ailments. Root canal therapy is common when tooth injuries cannot be controlled through medications. Before undergoing Root Canal Treatment, as it is famously called, you should understand its process, side effects and pros and cons to estimate its overall effect on your health.

This guide talks about Root Canal Treatment in detail covering its various aspects and associated risks.

What is the Process for Root Canal Treatment?

Root Canal Treatment involves removing the tooth’s internal part and this treatment is done in various steps. First confirmation of a tooth problem is done through X-ray. In short the following steps are involved in the process of Root Canal Treatment:

  • X-ray.
  • Anesthesia.
  • Pulpectomy.
  • Filling.

X-ray is carried out to see the extent and location of tooth damage, anesthesia is meant for making the root canal treatment procedure less painful as deep incisions are made. In pulpectomy, damaged pulp is removed from the tooth through an opening on the crown. Filling is done in the removed pulp area with gutta-percha material. This is a summarization for root canal treatment and details of which is given out here.

Step by Step Description of Root Canal Treatment Process:

  • Anesthesia is given to the surrounding nerves of the affected tooth to make it numb and minimize the pain.
  • A dental dam is placed on the affected tooth with a hole drilled, which isolates the rest of the mouth and provides a germ free environment for Root Canal Treatment.
  • A hole is drilled in the affected tooth to begin the root canal treatment procedure.
  • The dead pulp is removed from the tooth by drilling.
  • The tooth is disinfected with some anti-septic solution.
  • As this procedure is done in multiple steps, a temporary filling material is inserted into the tooth.
  • Sealer along with gutta-percha (a rubber like material), is put into the tooth.
  • After a few days, the hole in the tooth is sealed to avoid any infection.
  • Antibiotics are prescribed before and during the root canal treatment for prevention of infection.

Do’s of Root Canal Treatment

If you have undergone Root Canal Treatment, the following some basic tips helps in saving you from any kind of arising complications which can be a trouble for your tooth. Some basic do’s post- Root Canal Treatment:

  • Chew soft food like porridge or oats boiled with milk, which is not harsh on your teeth.
  • Brush your tooth very carefully and apply soft strokes as cleaning your tooth is the most basic thing to be done on a daily basis.
  • Take oral pain relievers which can help to ease out the pain in the post-root canal treatment phase.
  • Antibiotics can be taken to avoid infection during and after Root Canal Treatment.
  • Saline water gargle is a super remedy for any tooth ailment and also alleviates pain which occurs after root canal treatment procedure.
  • Drink fruit juice, which helps a lot in saving you from painful tooth cramps.
  • Most importantly, visit your dentist on a regular basis without skipping your appointments.

Don’ts of Root Canal Treatment

You need to say NO to some basic things which you keep doing on a regular basis. Check out what you should not be doing for the good health of your RCT-treated tooth:

  • Avoid anything which is crunchy and hard to chew.
  • Hot and extremely cold liquid should be a complete NO.
  • Don’t ever avoid medications which are prescribed to you, this is necessary to avoid any budding infection which could be underlying therein.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and sodas, as the root canal treatment treated tooth should be kept away from any acidic environment in your mouth.
  • Some foods like curd and rice are also said to increase post-surgery dental pain and need to be kept at bay for an easy recovery from Root Canal Treatment.

The above don’ts are applicable only till the complete restoration of your tooth and should be avoided at all cost to skip any impending risk.

Side Effects of Root Canal Treatment

Like any other surgery, root canal treatment also has some repercussions and side effects and need to be borne in mind for better recovery. Check out the following side-effects of root canal treatment and take necessary steps accordingly:

  • Pain, as deep incisions are made, will be naturally there for certain duration of time. But this pain is temporary till your tooth gets completely recuperated.
  • Swelling around the Root Canal Treatment -treated tooth is also very common because of drilling and all the tooth-treatments. This problem can be treated through fomentation and saline water gargle that works as mouthwash and keeps your mouth free from germs.
  • Tiny nerves in root canal can also decay owing to the removal of live pulp through RCT. It has been observed that after the pulp removal, decay of these tiny nerves occurs at a much faster pace which leads to massive problems.


Taking proper precaution during a root canal treatment procedure eases out the pain and strengthens your dental health as well. Root Canal Treatment has been practiced on a wide scale and major benefits have been accrued by the patients who underwent this procedure. Any of the above side effects can be avoided by taking proper precautions and care.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 29, 2019

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