Root Canal Therapy



A lot of people have heard of a root canal but few truly know what it is. Here at Stanley Dentistry in Cary, NC, we like to break down each and every procedure and treatment for our patients so they understand exactly what we’re doing (and why we’re doing it).

With root canals, we’ve found a lot of patients come in with false preconceived notions. Most of the time, they assume it’s going to be painful, expensive, and come with a long, uncomfortable healing period. At some dental offices, those things may be correct but at Stanley Dentistry, they couldn’t be further from the truth.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canals are essentially a final way to “save” a tooth from extraction. They’re sort of like filling a cavity but on a larger scale. We recommend a patient get a root canal if a tooth has become seriously infected or if an injury cracked it.

What happens during a root canal procedure?

During the procedure, our doctors remove the infected pulp from the tooth. “Pulp” is the soft tissue that’s deep inside every tooth, beneath the enamel and the dentin. It contains blood vessels and nerves and extends into each of the canals in the tooth. When teeth are growing, the pulp is very important since it nourishes the tooth, supplying it with blood and connective tissues. Once a tooth is done growing, it doesn’t really need pulp anymore. This is good because pulp frequently becomes infected in adults.

After removing the pulp, the doctor will clean the canals and shape them so they can be filled. Once the canals are filled with a rubber-like substance, the doctor will seal the tooth to ward off future infection.

Are root canal therapies painful?

At Stanley Dentistry, we never want our patients to feel uncomfortable or in pain while getting the dental work they need. Root canals have a reputation for being especially painful because the pulp is where the tooth’s nerves are. In the past, root canals did bring along a certain degree of pain but those days are over.

During the procedure, a doctor or anesthesiologist will administer a sedative to ensure a pain-free experience. Post-procedure, you may experience a little tenderness but that can frequently be managed with over-the-counter painkillers.

What kind of sedation do you use for root canals?

We offer a variety of sedation dentistry options here at Stanley Dentistry in Cary, NC. Before surgery, speak with your dentist about what option would work best for you.

Root canal symptoms

You may need a root canal if you are experiencing pain or discomfort in the following situations:

  • While eating or apply pressure to the tooth
  • When eating or drinking hot or cold foods/beverages and sensitivity remains after the stimulant is gone
  • Gums around the tooth are swollen/tender or may have a small bump near the site of the pain
  • Tooth appears to be discolored

Do I need a root canal?

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment at the Stanley Dentistry office in Cary, NC. Root canal therapies are easy, safe, and can typically be completed in only one visit. Post-procedure, you’ll be very glad you got it!