If you have a toothache, it is possible you need a root canal treatment. If tooth decay from a cavity gets into the pulp of the tooth, the pulp becomes infected. As your body tries to fight the infection, a natural defense is for it to attempt to swell. Because there is no room for the pulp to swell, the tissue dies. Unfortunately this doesn’t solve the problem. Without treatment the infection will spread. A root canal treatment heals the tooth by removing the infected tissue and sealing it.
Some people worry about root canal treatments, because they’re afraid they’ll be painful. Actually, if the tissue inside the tooth is dead, there is no feeling at all in the tooth. If it isn’t dead, it can be numbed with novocain. Some people think they would rather have their tooth extracted instead of a root canal treatment. But a tooth extraction is a much more traumatic procedure, and results in the loss of your tooth. We would recommend saving your tooth whenever it is practical.
Signs/Symptoms that could indicate you Need a Root Canal
- Moderate to severe toothache
- Pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods that lingers more than a few seconds
- Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth
- Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
- Spontaneous pain in your tooth, or pain that occurs when you lie down
- A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
- Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another
When a tooth, particularly a back tooth, has a root canal treatment, it usually means that a good portion of the tooth is missing and it is weakened and at risk of fracture. We will usually recommend that a tooth like this have a dental crown for a permanent restoration, because a fracture could make the tooth unrestorable and you will end up losing it. To read more, please visit our porcelain crowns page. The crown is a separate procedure with a separate fee.
If you think you may need a root canal treatment, you may request an appointment with our office.