Generally, patients that need a root canal will experience sensitivity to heat or cold, have a discoloration of the tooth, or swelling and tenderness of the tooth or surrounding tissue. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp (the nerve inside the root of a tooth) becomes inflamed or infected due to a cavity, a fracture or other conditions.
Root canals are typically done in 2 dental visits. The first visit involves the removal of the pulp tissue and cavity. The tooth will be filled with a temporary or medicated filling and will receive antibiotics. The second visit will consist of finishing the root canal and restoring the tooth with a resin (tooth colored) filling. The patient will eventually need to place a crown on the root canaled tooth to prevent breaking the tooth.