Root Canal FAQ

Root canals are one of the most feared dental procedures we perform at Susquehanna Dental Arts, due to their reputation for being painful. The truth is, patients often report afterwards that anticipation of the procedure was actually worse than having the root canal performed. Most report that it’s no more painful than having a filling placed.

Here are some of the most common questions we get related to root canals. We’ll answer in hopes of dispelling some unfounded fears and adding to your understanding of this important procedure.

What is a root canal?

Root canals are simply a removal of your tooth’s nerve and pulp, with a cleaning and sealing of the inside of the tooth. This procedure is offered as a way to save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed, preventing the tissues around your tooth from becoming infected as well. If this happens, abscesses could form and you could lose your tooth.

By removing the pulp, we prevent a variety of issues that a root canal infection can cause, including swelling in the face, neck or head, bone loss around the root tip, and more.


Persistent sensitivity to or pain from cold or hot food and drinks is one warning sign

How do I know I need a root canal?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you might need a root canal.

  • Persistent sensitivity to or pain from cold or hot food and drinks
  • A darkening of the tooth
  • Toothache when you chew or apply pressure to the tooth
  • A persistent bump on the gums that resembles a pimple
  • Swelling or tender gums

What causes a tooth’s nerve and pulp to be damaged and require a root canal?

There are several ways you can damage your tooth’s nerve and pulp, mostly related to trauma to your mouth or face. If you experience repeated dental procedures on a tooth, have large fillings, or there are any chips or cracks in your tooth, then your nerve and pulp can become irritated or inflamed.

Deep decay is another way you can damage your tooth’s nerve and pulp, so make sure you’re brushing and flossing daily and also scheduling your regular dental visits! If participating in sports, be sure to wear a properly fitting mouth guard.

Are Root Canals Successful?

Boasting over a 95% success rate, root canals are a highly beneficial dental procedure that often allows the patient to keep their teeth for their entire lifetime.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

Costs for a root canal vary depending on how severe the problem is and what your unique dental insurance policy covers. We encourage you to call us at 717-684-3943 to get specific pricing.

We hope this helps relieve some of the anxiety you might have about root canals. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Contact us to learn more about Root Canals