When Do You Need A Root Canal?

shutterstock_119875249A sudden onset of tooth pain can absolutely raise concern, even if it doesn’t hurt all the time. Often times, a toothache will come and go, or may intensify during certain times (like in reaction to temperature or pressure). If you’re experiencing any tooth pain – it’s always important to let your dentist know, it could actually be a sign that you need a root canal. Typically, root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, is necessary when the pulp (or nerve) of the tooth becomes infected or inflamed. Regardless of how your tooth’s nerve becomes damaged, however, it should never be ignored – especially when it’s causing a toothache.

Understanding The Causes

While your tooth’s nerve is commonly affected by deep tooth decay, it can also be damaged from a crack (or break) in the tooth or even a facial injury. However, you won’t always need endodontic treatment in these instances – your dentist will determine the best route of treatment depending on your individual situation.

How Does A Root Canal Work?

A root canal works to preserve your natural tooth structure, even though it’s technically dead without its nerve. Your dentist will usually recommend endodontic treatment in order to keep the tooth in your mouth, versus extracting it.

During the procedure, your dentist will remove the infected portion of your tooth. Similarly to a dental filling, once it’s all removed (including the nerve), they’ll fill the freshly cleaned area (down to the roots) with a rubber-like material. After sealing the tooth off, a dental crown is placed to completely restore the cosmetic appeal and overall function of your tooth.

Although root canals have been known to be excruciatingly painful in the past, we assure you – dentistry is much different nowadays and patient comfort has come a long way. Your dentist will use anesthetic to numb the area, so don’t let the pain keep you from seeking treatment – contact your dentist today!