Root Canal

Signs that a Root Canal May Be Necessary

A toothache or an abscessed tooth is terribly inconvenient not to mention painful; it may be difficult to eat, speak, or even function.

You'll need an antibiotic to calm it down before it becomes completely unbearable.

The dentist cannot work on it until the infection is down to a minimum, you won't want to wait as it will only get worse.

Infection in your mouth can lead to far more serious things, so please be careful if you have a toothache.

Wondering if you Need a Root Canal?   The answer:  Not necessarily. 

Your tooth may hurt for several reasons:

  • Food caught between your teeth or ridges.
  • You may simply have a cavity.
  • Your tooth may have become chipped or cracked.
  • You may be suffering from enamel erosion.

Each scenario may be treated without a root canal, however, there are times when a root canal is your only option.


Dr. Dennis will look at your x-rays and the surrounding evidence to determine where the source of discomfort is and what your treatment should be.

  • How long has your tooth been hurting?
  • Did the pain come on suddenly or built up over time?
  • What level of pain are you in?
  • Is your pain manageable with slight discomfort?  She may be able to remove the decay.

In any case, the infection needs to be controlled with an antibiotic and at the same time get an appointment scheduled as soon as the antibiotic has time to take affect.

Wondering if you Need a Root Canal?   The answer is - not necessarily. 

Dr Dennis Mexico

Once Dr. Dennis does an x-ray and evaluation; she will know exactly what is needed.

If the pain is intense, and the cavity is below the gum line near the nerve, you may need a root canal.

A root canal is needed when the pulp beneath your tooth, becomes infected or damaged beyond repair.

A root canal will save your tooth from being pulled.

If your situation is beyond a root canal, you may need a tooth extraction, an implant, or a bridge.

A Root Canal May be Completed in 1 - 2 Visits with These Steps:

  • The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anesthetic.  Once the tooth is numb, she places a small protective sheet over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
  • Next she makes an opening in the crown of the tooth with very small instruments, to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
  • After space is cleaned and shaped, she fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, a rubber-like material called with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals.
  • In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed before the tooth is restored.
  • On your final visit a crown or other restoration will be placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
  • If your tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, Dr. Dennis may place a post inside the tooth. 

Dr. Dennis will explain in more detail the specific restoration plans or options for your teeth.

Common Questions About Root Canal Procedure

Does a root canal hurt?

A root canal sounds scary, but with today's technology, it's typically not much different than having a deep filling. There's little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gums so you're comfortable during the entire procedure.

How do they remove the nerve for a root canal?

A specialist removes the infected pulp and nerve in the root of the tooth, cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, then fills and seals the space.  Afterward, your dentist will place a crown on top of your tooth to protect and restore it to its original function.

Is the nerve dead after root canal?

After root canal therapy, the tooth is dead. The patient will no longer feel any pain in that tooth because the nerve tissue has been removed, and the infection has been eliminated.

What do they replace the nerve with?

Once the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, it is filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.

How long will teeth last after a root canal?

Root canal treatment is usually successful at saving the tooth and clearing the infection. About 9 out of 10 root-treated teeth survive for 8 to 10 years.  Having a crown fitted to the tooth after root canal treatment is important for improving tooth survival rates.

Will I need medication after my root canal?

You may experience mild discomfort after the numbing medication wears off after a root canal.  If so, you may only require over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin IB.  Dr. Dennis may give you a mild pain reliever in case you have sensitivity.

Will my tooth be sensitive after the root canal?

You may experience very mild sensitivity for a few days at most.

Do I need rest after a root canal?

Rest always helps any healing process and helps you recuperate. We recommend taking it easy for about 24 hours after your treatment. 

How do I care for my mouth after a root canal?

Since swelling is common after a root canal, an ice pack will help reduce it.  When sleeping, keep your head elevated with pillows so you can avoid irritation.  Plan your meals carefully for the first few days.  Consider things that make it easier to get proper nutrition without a lot of chewing.  Try not to eat anything on that side until you've healed.

Why would I need a root canal?

It may be necessary to have a root canal if the pulp in your tooth becomes inflamed or infected as a result of deep decay, repeated dental procedures, faulty crowns or a crack or chip in the tooth.  Dr Dennis will know for sure after your x-ray and evaluation.

What if a root canal isn't possible?

An untreated root canal is a severe infection. It will become very painful and an abscessed tooth is dangerous.  In some cases, even lead to a septic infection.  When it comes to infected pulp tissue, if you are not a candidate for a root canal or you don't want one, your only option is to have the infected tooth pulled (extracted).

How much does a root canal cost?

The typical range for a root canal in the US ranges between $900 - $1500, but in Mexico with Dr Dennis you'll pay less than 1/2 of the lowest cost.



My fillings were old, Dr. Dennis had to do a root canal.  I drove and parked at the border then walked across.  After my appointment, I felt fine.  She is a very kind and loving person who makes you feel very comfortable.  I saved a lot of money, not exactly sure how much.  I felt safe in Algodones.  Her staff is also very good at what they do and very accommodating.  Dr. Dennis is a very good dentist and I would highly recommend her.  Canada


I had an abscessed tooth, and my fillings had fallen out during COVID; no dentist (not even emergency would work on my teeth, they were happy to pull them through. I said, no way! During that time my fillings were falling out; while eating I'd accidentally bite down and break another tooth. Without proper treatment for several months, the issues worsened. Dr. Dennis did 3 root canals and 9 crowns. My teeth look and feel amazing now! The experience was awesome! Dr. Dennis is a very good dentist, thorough, gentle, friendly, and works super fast even though nothing seemed rushed, she accomplished so much in so little time. Her team, Martha & Margot, are both fantastic too!  Los Algodones is very safe with many Americans & Canadians traveling there for dental & medical treatments.  Her dental clinic is spotless, she takes great measures to keep her clinic safe with mask wearing for COVID standards. What I saved by going there, including airfare, lodging, food, Uber, and other expenses, I saved about $27,000.00!  I will happily go again for any dental work. If you need dental work, don't even hesitate; schedule an evaluation now! :)

Leslie O'Neill

Schedule Your X-ray and Evaluation Now!

The Evaluation consists of:  All x-rays and a complete dental examination with Dr. Dennis 

The fee for your evaluation will be reimbursed if you elect to have a dental procedure - if one is recommended.