Understanding Root Canal Treatment

For many, the words “root canal” might summon apprehension or uncertainty. This reaction often stems from misconceptions or lack of clarity about the procedure. However, a root canal is a common dental procedure aimed at saving your tooth and preventing further infection. Dr. Sanket Upadhyay of Birch Point Dental Clinic in Thunder Bay, ON, takes the mystery out of root canal treatment, offering insights into its process and benefits.

1. Root Canal: The Basics

At the heart of each tooth lies a chamber filled with soft tissue called the pulp. This pulp contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp gets infected due to deep cavities, cracks, or trauma, a root canal becomes necessary. The process involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning the chamber, and sealing it.

2. Recognizing the Need

Common signs indicating a potential need for a root canal include:

  • Severe toothache, especially when chewing
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Swelling or tenderness in the nearby gums
  • Darkening of the tooth

However, in some instances, there might be no symptoms. Regular dental check-ups play a pivotal role in early detection.

3. The Root Canal Process

  • Diagnosis: Utilizing advanced imaging like X-rays, the dentist assesses the extent of the infection.
  • Anesthesia: To ensure the patient’s comfort, the area around the affected tooth is numbed.
  • Pulp Removal: A tiny opening is made in the tooth to access and remove the infected pulp.
  • Cleaning and Shaping: The inner chamber is cleaned thoroughly, and if required, reshaped.
  • Sealing: The cleaned chamber is filled with a biocompatible material and sealed.
  • Restoration: For added strength and functionality, a crown is usually placed on the treated tooth.

4. The Post-Procedure Phase

With modern techniques and anesthesia, the root canal procedure is typically painless. Minor discomfort post-procedure is common and can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. The treated tooth, once fully restored, functions like any other tooth.

5. Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

  • Tooth Preservation: One of the most significant advantages is the ability to save your natural tooth. This retention aids in efficient chewing, maintains a natural appearance, and protects other teeth from excessive wear.
  • Prevention: By treating the infection at its source, the procedure prevents the spread of infection to neighboring teeth and reduces the need for more extensive treatments.
  • Cost-effective: In the long run, a root canal treatment, combined with proper oral care, can be more cost-effective than extracting and replacing the infected tooth.

6. Debunking Myths

  • Myth: Root canals are excruciating. Fact: With today’s technology and anesthetics, the procedure is as comfortable as getting a filling.
  • Myth: Extracting the tooth is a better option. Fact: Natural teeth preservation is always the preferred choice. Dental implants or bridges, while effective, can be more time-consuming and expensive than saving the original tooth.

Birch Point Dental: Your Trusted Partner for Root Canals in Thunder Bay

At Birch Point Dental Clinic, our priority is your dental health and comfort. Dr. Sanket Upadhyay and his seasoned team utilize state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to ensure root canal treatments are effective and pain-free. Root canals, contrary to some beliefs, are not to be feared but embraced as a tooth-saving procedure. If you’re in Thunder Bay and believe you might benefit from a root canal, or just want to learn more, reach out to Birch Point Dental Clinic at (807) 698-8838. Together, let’s take proactive steps toward optimal dental health.


  1. American Association of Endodontists. “Root Canals Explained.” aae.org.
  2. Colgate. “Root Canal Treatment: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks.” Colgate.com.
  3. WebMD. “Guide to a Root Canal.” WebMD.com.

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Dr. Sanket Upadhyay


Dr. Sanket completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree in India in 2011 and obtained his Canadian dental license in 2016. He is a member in good standing with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Sanket regularly pursues continuing education through dental conferences and courses to enhance his knowledge and be at the forefront of advances in dentistry.

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