A root canal is necessary when you have a cavity in your tooth that has reached the nerves in the roots. When the decay reaches the nerves, that tooth will likely become very sensitive and painful If you dentist does suggest a root canal, you will want to get it done as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more pain you have to endure. Also there is also a chance that you decay could get so severe that your tooth necessitates an implant, which is even more painful and expensive.
Sedation vs. Local Anesthetic
Luckily, dentists are able to make the root canal procedure quite painless. It is basically the same as having a cavity filled, but it takes a little longer. So, if you have allergic reactions or don't respond well to local anesthetics, you may want to consider paying for full sedation. This might also be the best route if you have anxiety about the procedure. The dentist will basically use the same tools (including the dreadful sound of the drill). So, if you fear the normal dentist, full sedation for a root canal might not be a bad idea.
As with most dental work, the process will begin with x-rays. Hopefully, your dentist will be able to determine from the x-rays if you need a root canal or a normal filling. In the worst case scenario, the dentist will not realize that a filling will necessitate root canal in the middle of procedure. If so, the dentist will hopefully change the procedure and prepare your for an immediate root canal. Otherwise, the dentist will temporarily fill your cavity and reschedule another appointment.
What's Happening Inside the Tooth
During a root canal the dentist will need to completely clean all of the nerves out of each root. Special drills are used to penetrate all the way to the bottom of the root. The dentist will use microscopic cameras to peer into the canal to make sure all the decayed roots are removed. The hollowed out roots are then filled with plastic posts and tooth aggregate. The rest of the tooth is then filled with normal tooth filling.
Since you will be numbed throughout the whole procedure, so it should be no more painful than a normal cavity filling. Don't put your root canal off or you might end up needing a more serious and painful procedure.
Read more about root canals here.