What should I think about if I have a root canal treatment?

A root canal is a dental treatment that can save a severely broken or decayed tooth. While a root canal can save a tooth, it also makes the tooth brittle. Back teeth should have a crown placed on the tooth after a root canal to prevent breakage. 
You should think about how you can get the best prognosis to keep your tooth. After root canal treatment the tooth gets brittle and can easily fracture. It needs to be restored properly to be able to be used in function. If a tooth cannot be properly restored it many not be worth doing the root canal. Your dentist should be able to tell you the situation prior to doing the root canal.

Make sure you are financially able to handle the root canal treatment and restoration of the tooth prior to beginning treatment. Many times patients get the root canal treatment and not the restoration in a timely manner and the tooth ends up fracturing. So the patient not only loses the tooth but also the expense for the root canal. So, be careful and talk to your dentist.          

Among the many things to consider regarding endodontic treatment are:

  • care in biting on the involved tooth during and after the treatment.
  • having the tooth properly restored after root canal treatment to minimize the chance of fracture. (A crown is often the restoration of choice.)
  • take any medication prescribed and as directed by your dentist.
  • take medication from your physician unless changes are advised.
  • follow dentists directions and ask about any concerns.
  • understand that the root canal treatment can be excellent, but the tooth can be lost if not sealed, restored and protected from fracture.

You may wish to contact your dentist and ask him/her to provide you with information regarding endodontic treatment and your specific case. Information about benefits and risks of your care are also provided and reviewed in an informed consent prior to treatment.


Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort. By undergoing a root canal, you are "saving" your tooth. During root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of teeth) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result, and your tooth may have to be removed.

Rita Medwid

It would be best to think about all your options and the fees before you do the root canal. You and your dentist should sit down and talk. You could have an extraction and an implant, an extraction and a bridge, or an extraction and a removable partial. If you choose the root canal, find out if the tooth will need a crown or just a filling. Once that is settled, you can rest easy with your decision. During the root canal you can bring headphones, or just think happy thoughts of how good you are for taking care of this tooth!

Continue Learning about Root Canal Therapy

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.