3 Signs You Need a Root Canal

3 Signs You Need a Root Canal

Team Root Canal

Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure that many people will need at some point in their lifetime. When performed at the right time, a root canal can save a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged. However, if the tooth is not treated in time, it could be too late to save it. 

Since timing is so important with a root canal, it is crucial that you seek treatment at the first sign of a problem. How do you know you need a root canal? Here are the top 3 signs. 

What is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is an endodontic procedure. Endodontics is the field of dentistry that focuses on the dental pulp, the soft tissue inside of a tooth. The dental pulp is contained in the root canal, the inner chamber that begins at the base of the crown of a tooth and extends into the root. 

The root canal procedure is named after the part of the tooth that is being treated. During the procedure a small hole is made in the crown of the tooth that is used to access the root canal. The dental pulp is removed and the tooth is disinfected to eliminate bacteria and any remaining tissue that could be susceptible to infection. Then the tooth is filled with a composite material and a crown is placed over it. 

Do You Need a Root Canal? 

If you have any of the following 3 signs or symptoms, you may need a root canal. 

  • Tooth pain. If you have a severe toothache, your tooth is most likely infected and needs a root canal. But in some cases the pain will come and go, making you wonder if there is a problem that needs to be addressed or not. It is in your best interest to have your tooth examined if you have any pain at all. It is common for the tooth to hurt only when you are chewing or if you put pressure on it. The sooner a potentially problematic tooth is treated, the higher the chance that the tooth can be saved. 

  • Severe sensitivity. You may have a tooth that doesn’t hurt, but it is extremely sensitive to cold, heat, or sugar. When a tooth is exposed to these aggravators, you may feel a twinge or an ache. With normal sensitivity, the ache will subside shortly after the aggravator is removed. If your sensitivity resonates long after the aggravator has been removed, you may be in need of a root canal. 

  • A crack or large cavity. A tooth that is at-risk of infection should be treated proactively with a root canal. A large cavity that is deep enough to have reached the dentin, the soft layer under your enamel, puts your tooth at a high risk of bacterial invasion and potential infection. A crack in a tooth poses the same risk. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

Do I need to see an endodontist for a root canal?

Many general dentists perform root canals, but endodontists specialize in root canal treatment, making them highly qualified for this specific need. Endodontists also have advanced technology and extensive experience that allows them to provide the highest quality root canal treatment. 

How long will my tooth last after a root canal?

In most cases a tooth that has been treated with a root canal will last for the rest of your life. With regular dental care and maintenance, your tooth should remain healthy and functional. 

Where To Go For Treatment 

If you think you may need a root canal, an endodontist specializes in this procedure. Eagle Endodontics provides tooth-saving root canal treatment for teeth that are infected or at-risk. With experience and the use of advanced technology, your treated tooth should last for the rest of your life. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.