Demystifying Root Canals: What to Expect and Why You Might Need One

Root canal therapy is a common procedure in dental care, yet it is often surrounded by misconceptions and anxiety. At Woodland Hills Family Dentistry, we believe in educating our patients about dental treatments to demystify them and alleviate any concerns.

Understanding Root Canals

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it. The common causes attributing to the need for a root canal include deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth.

Why You Might Need a Root Canal

The necessity for a root canal arises when the pulp inside the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This can be due to various factors, including deep decay, cracks, chips, or injury to the tooth. Symptoms that might indicate the need for a root canal include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, swollen and tender gums, and darkening of the tooth.

The Root Canal Process at Woodland Hills Family Dentistry

  • Diagnosis and X-ray
    The process starts with a thorough examination, including X-rays, to determine the extent of the tooth damage and to plan the treatment.

  • Anesthesia
    To ensure comfort, local anesthesia is administered to numb the tooth and surrounding area.

  • Pulpectomy
    An opening is made in the crown of the tooth, and the infected or inflamed pulp is removed.

  • Cleaning and Sealing
    After removing the pulp, the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned, disinfected, and shaped. It is then filled and sealed with a material called gutta-percha.

  • Restoration
    Following the root canal, the tooth may need a crown or other restoration to protect it and restore it to full function.

Post-Procedure Care

After a root canal, you may experience some sensitivity or discomfort, which can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. It’s important to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups. Most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime with proper care.

Debunking Root Canal Myths

Myth: Root canals are painful.

Fact: With modern techniques and anesthesia, root canals are no more painful than a filling.

Myth: Root canals cause illness.

Fact: There’s no scientific evidence linking root canals to other health issues.


Root canal therapy is a highly effective way to save a damaged or infected tooth and alleviate pain. At Woodland Hills Family Dentistry, we are committed to providing comfortable and efficient root canal treatments. If you’re experiencing symptoms that might require a root canal or have any concerns about the procedure, we encourage you to contact us. Our team is here to ensure your dental health is maintained with the utmost care and professionalism.

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