A root canal procedure usually takes place under a local anesthetic and involves using techniques to remove decayed tissue, WebMD states. In some cases the dentist fits a crown following the root canal.
A root canal usually begins with the dentist numbing the area, according to WebMD. They numb the gums using a gel, before using an injectable local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable. Some patients may receive nitrous oxide gas to relax. If necessary, the dentist separates the tooth that needs the procedure from surrounding teeth using a sheet. They then drill into the tooth so they can gain access to the pulp they are removing, before taking it away from the tooth and refilling it.
Some patients require a crown following the procedure, WebMD claims. In some cases this crown is temporary, whereas others have permanent fixtures immediately. Following the procedure, some patients may experience pain after the anesthetic wears off. They can alleviate this with over-the-counter analgesics like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, WebMD states. This pain usually lasts for 1 to 2 days before wearing off. While crowns are permanent, some may become loose over time. When this happens, the patient needs a replacement crown.