How to know if you might need a Root Canal?

Tooth Root System with logo and text

What is a Root Canal?

Root Canal treatment is a dental procedure that can relieve your pain and save your natural tooth. It eliminates bacteria from the infected Root Canal to prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth.

Does a the procedure hurt?

As the procedure is performed under anesthesia, a root canal treatment isn’t painful, however, The treated tooth is generally usually sore or numb after the procedure, and can even cause slight discomfort for a few days.

When do you need a Root Canal?

Root Canals are indicated for a cracked tooth resulting from trauma, an advanced dental cavity, or old fractured fillings. A few symptoms that indicate the need for a Root Canal are...

1. Persistent pain - is one of the earliest and major indicators signaling a problem with your tooth. If your toothache is interrupting your daily activities such as drinking or eating, visit our dentist office as soon as you can.

2. Chipped Or Cracked Tooth - Teeth can chip, crack or fracture from eating hard foods, or a dislodged old dental filling. Having a chipped or cracked tooth can expose the nerves that are responsible for providing sensation to the tooth which leads to an infection that can enter the bloodstream and further spread.

3. Sensitivity to Hot or Cold - Lingering tooth sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks is another common sign that you might need a root canal. A discomforting sensation on the consumption of hot or cold food and drinks can be a sign of gum disease. It might start as a dull ache and progress into a sharp, intense pain.

4. Swollen Gum - Swollen, painful gums with raised bumps are a sign of inflammation with the source coming from beneath the gums surface.

5. Tooth Discoloration - Tooth discoloration can be the result of a variety of things such as poor oral hygiene, staining food, and drinks, or in some cases an oral trauma.

6. Prolonged Sensitivity - If putting pressure on your tooth while chewing or biting causes sensitivity that lasts for long periods of time without improvement, a root canal might be in your future. It can typically be due to damaged a root, and will not heal on its own. To get permanent relief, your dentist might suggest a Root Canal as the course of treatment.

7. Deep Decay - Once dental decay advances and spreads to the pulp, a Root Canal is the only option for treating infection and repairing the tooth.

Can I continue my routine activities immediately after getting a root canal?

The local anesthesia better known as laughing gas that is given prior to starting the procedure lasts about 2.5-3 hours and most patients are able to return to their routine activities directly following a Root Canal. Patients are however advised to be mindful until the numbness is completely gone.