Need a Root Canal? Here’s What to Expect

Hearing you need a root canal isn’t something you eagerly anticipate — many people imagine a painful or scary procedure. However, today’s root canals are no longer the dreadful procedures you may have heard about in the past. In fact, they’re comparable to routine fillings. 


But if you don’t understand the importance of getting a root canal and what it entails, you probably still have concerns. At Union Square Dental in the Flatiron District of New York City, we understand and want to help.


Our team of dental specialists is experienced in performing this common procedure and aim to address any concerns or questions with this guide to root canals and what you can expect during the procedure. 

What is a root canal?

Root canals get their name from the part of the tooth they treat. The tooth’s “root canal” is the space inside your tooth that contains the tooth’s nerve and a pulp chamber. 


The procedure gets rid of dental decay or infection in the pulp before it has the chance to spread outside the chamber. If decay or infection does spread to your tooth’s nerve, having a root canal can end up saving your tooth. 

How do I know that a root canal is what I need?

The surefire way to know that you need a root canal is by getting an examination from a trained professional, but there are signs to look for. Some include:



If you’ve noticed any of these signs, contact the team at Union Square Dental to schedule an evaluation as soon as possible. Delaying the treatment of an infected tooth can create a multitude of problems in the future. Getting a root canal can prevent the loss of the affected tooth or surrounding teeth. 

What can I expect during a root canal?

Before the procedure, your endodontist administers local anesthesia to numb the area. This helps you feel more comfortable during the root canal. 


Once the anesthesia fully numbs your tooth, your provider drills a small hole in the infected tooth to access the pulp chamber. Special tools remove the infected pulp and any other damaged tissue, along with any bacteria from the tooth. This part is called the pulpectomy.


For the next step, your provider fills the empty space in the tooth’s root canal with a material called gutta-percha, this seals and stabilizes the tooth. The last step is placing a crown to further seal and protect the tooth. We ensure you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.

Seeking early treatment of an infected tooth is extremely important. Not receiving treatment could cost you a tooth. If you think you might need a root canal, please call our office today at 212-675-7877 to schedule an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Importance of Regular Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays might seem like a nuisance, but having them on a regular basis is important for your oral health. Here’s why you need X-rays and how digital technology has made the X-ray process a lot simpler and more comfortable for patients.

How to Prevent Tooth Loss as You Age

Like the rest of your body, your teeth and gums are affected by age. Gum disease, broken teeth, and tooth loss are common issues among older patients. But they aren’t inevitable. Read on to learn how to keep a healthy smile as you age.

9 Tips to Get Your Kids to Take Care of Their Teeth

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we want to help you encourage your children to build excellent oral hygiene habits! Here are nine of our best tips to help get kids practicing better oral care.

6 Benefits of Dental Implants

When you lose a tooth (or even a few), you have a decision to make — leave the gap, get a bridge, wear dentures, or go for a dental implant. Find out why the latter may be the best choice.

What Is Dry Mouth and What to Do About It

Dry mouth affects many aging people but can affect you at any age because of medications, medical conditions, or dehydration. Here’s what you can do to manage the symptoms.