This article is reviewed, corrected, and approved by: Dr. Benjamin McLean M.D. | FCPS | FRCP | MPH

Almost everyone on Earth will experience dental problems at some point in their life. It's a common occurrence that happens occasionally. You may be familiar with the “root canal” word. Another name for this treatment is endodontic treatment. 

When a tooth is damaged or inflamed, it can be saved through dental surgery called root canal therapy. This procedure removes infected tissue from the tooth's root and promotes healing.

Today, I am about to discuss various aspects of root canal before and after, including their types, costs, success rates, alternatives, and common myths. Covering why they are necessary and what to expect both before and after the procedure. 

What Is Root Canal?

It is a dental or oral treatment used to fix an infected or inflamed tooth. The pulp, a soft area inside the tooth, is responsible for maintaining the tooth's health and is comprised of nerves and blood vessels.

If the interior (pulp) of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed, it can result in significant soreness and unease. It can lead to painful symptoms, swelling, and sensitivity. A root canal is a way to remove the damaged pulp.

Root Canal vs. Implant


Root Canal Treatment

Dental Implants


Infected or inflamed pulp of a tooth may be treated and saved using this procedure.

Surgical implantation of an artificial tooth root to support a crown.

Preservation of Natural Tooth

Yes, it is intended to conserve and retain natural teeth.

No, it involves replacing the natural tooth with an artificial one.

Procedure Duration

Healing time is short. Need to visit the dentist after 2-3 months

Healing time may take several months after a multi-step procedure.

Initial Cost

More affordable

Usually more expensive upfront than a root canal.

Long-Term Durability

Maintainable, but may need a crown for extra strength.

They are well-known for their toughness.

Aesthetic Considerations

Maintains the natural appearance of the tooth.

Since the crown matches the surrounding teeth, it provides a natural appearance.

Bone Health

Does not stimulate bone growth; the tooth remains in its original socket.

Stimulates bone growth, preserving jawbone density.

Treatment Timeline

Faster treatment completion.

Longer treatment timeline due to healing periods.

Pain and Recovery

Minimal post-procedure discomfort, usually subsiding within a few days.

It may involve more significant initial discomfort and healing time. Especially after implant placement surgery.

Suitability for Damaged Teeth

Effective for saving teeth with infected or inflamed pulp.

Suitable for replacing missing teeth or teeth with severe damage beyond repair.


Requires regular oral hygiene and check-ups, similar to natural teeth.

Requires regular oral hygiene and check-ups, with additional care for implant-supported restorations.

Success Rate

Generally high success rate for most cases.

The success rate of the procedure is significantly high. 

Insurance Coverage

Often covered by dental insurance.

Implant procedures may have limited insurance coverage; it varies by provider.

Root Canal Before and After

Here are some important things you should know before and after a root canal procedure. They will be helpful in the future.

Before a Root Canal

Let’s check what it entails.

Consultation and Evaluation

At the consultation, your dentist will examine the affected tooth and use X-rays. A root canal X-ray assists in assessing the infection's extent. They will also discuss endodontic treatment's risks and benefits.

Preparing for the Procedure

In most cases, there's no need for extensive preparations. However, you might be prescribed antibiotics to prevent any infection. It is also possible that you will be recommended to fast for many hours before the surgery.

Your dentist may advise avoiding consuming food or drinks for a few hours before the test to ensure accurate results. This may seem minor, but it can greatly impact your health.

The Root Canal Procedure

Local anesthesia is used during a root canal.  The process involves creating a small opening in the tooth, removing the infected pulp, cleaning, disinfecting, and filling the root canal with medical material. Sometimes, a crown may be required to strengthen the treated tooth.

After a Root Canal

Finished performing a root canal? Now, you need to keep in mind these:

Post-Procedure Expectations

After a root canal, mild soreness and swelling can be managed with OTC medications or over-the-counter pain medications. It's crucial to refrain from chewing on the treated side of your mouth until the tooth is fully restored with a crown.

Recovery Timeline

Most individuals recover from endodontic therapy within a few days, although complete healing may take up to two weeks.

Post-Root Canal Care

Make sure that you brush and floss your teeth regularly in order to maintain your dental health. Remember regular visits with your dentist to make sure that the treated tooth recovers properly.

Potential Complications

Even though root canal therapy is generally safe and successful, a few problems can happen. Such as pain, swelling, infection, tooth fracture, or damage to surrounding tissues. 

Symptoms Of A Root Canal Infection

Swelling gum is a symptom of root canal infection. Credits: ReviewsFellas©

An infected root canal could be a great threat to your oral health. An infected root canal x-ray is a way to investigate what is going on inside. Toothache is the most typical symptom of a root canal infection.

However, there could be another cause. The discomfort may be continual or sporadic, severe or mild. Here are the signs of endodontic treatment infection are

When To See A Dentist About A Root Canal?

A dentist checking a patient. Credits: ReviewsFellas©

If you notice any of these symptoms, as we discussed earlier. Don't delay reaching out to a dentist right away. If you don't care about your Endodontics infection in time, it can spread to other teeth and the jawbone, and it can lead to serious health problems.

Pros and Cons of Root Canal



Save your natural teeth


Pain Relief


Infection Removal

Potential Discomfort

Improved Oral Health

Risk of Complications

Aesthetic Preservation

Requires Follow-Up

Predictable Outcome

Not Suitable for All Cases

Bite Function Retained

Tooth Weakening

Test your knowledge about root canal before and after from this quiz!!
What is the most common symptom of a tooth that needs a root canal?
A. Pain
B. Sensitivity to hot and cold
C. Swelling and redness
D. All of the above
What are some of the benefits of having a root canal?
A. Relieves pain
B. Saves the tooth from extraction
C. Prevents the infection from spreading
D. All of the above
What is the most important thing to do after having a root canal?
A. Follow your dentist's instructions carefully.
B. Keep the area clean and dry.
C. Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until it has been restored.
D. All of the above


So finally you know all about root canal before and after and what it entails.  Root canal treatment is a necessary procedure for saving teeth compromised by infection or inflammation. Understanding what to anticipate before and after the procedure can alleviate concerns and lead to a smoother recovery. 

If you want to keep your teeth healthy, endodontics is a procedure worth considering. It involves removing the damaged pulp, which can cause harm to your teeth, and ensuring that it stays healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q 01: How long does a root canal take? 

A: A root canal procedure typically takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Q 02: How long does it take to recover from a root canal?

A: The recuperation period for endodontic procedures typically lasts for under a week. 

Q 03: Is it safe to drive after a root canal?

A: Typically, it is safe to drive after endodontic treatment. 

Q 04: Why is a root canal front tooth used?

A: Basically, it is used to preserve your natural tooth, pain relief, and prevent any infection.  The root canal on the front tooth helps to maintain bite functions. 

Key Takeaways

Summary: Pros and Cons of Root Canal Therapy

Before a Root Canal:

  • Consultation and Evaluation: The dentist examines the affected tooth, often using X-rays, to assess the extent of the infection and discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure.
  • Preparing for the Procedure: Minimal preparations are typically needed, but antibiotics may be prescribed, and fasting before the procedure may be advised.
  • The Root Canal Procedure: Local anesthesia is administered, and the infected pulp is removed. The root canal is cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a medical material. A crown may be added for reinforcement.

After a Root Canal:

  • Post-Procedure Expectations: Mild soreness and swelling can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Avoid chewing on the treated side until the tooth is fully restored.
  • Recovery Timeline: Most people recover within a few days, with complete healing taking up to two weeks.
  • Post-Root Canal Care: Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining oral health.
  • Potential Complications: While rare, complications like pain, swelling, infection, tooth fracture, or damage to surrounding tissues can occur.

Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection:

  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Swollen gums
  • Swelling or protrusion near the affected tooth
  • Discharge of blood or pus
  • Loosening of the tooth

When to See a Dentist About a Root Canal:

If any symptoms of a root canal infection are noticed, prompt dental attention is crucial to prevent further complications and potential spread of the infection.

Pros and Cons of Root Canal
Pros Cons
Save natural teeth Cost
Pain relief Time-consuming
Infection removal Potential discomfort
Improved oral health Risk of complications
Aesthetic preservation Not suitable for all cases
Predictable outcome Tooth weakening
Bite function retained Requires follow-up