If you’ve asked yourself, “do I need a root canal,” it’s most likely because you have tooth pain or hot and cold tooth sensitivity, which are just a couple of the signs you may need a root canal.
In this blog post, we’re going to help you answer the question: how do you know if you need a root canal? In short, when you need a root canal, it may feel like throbbing pain due to infection inside of the root of your tooth. A visible fistula, swelling, or temperature sensitivity might be present. Bacteria can also lead to foul-tasting drainage along the gum tissue near your root. Common causes include untreated tooth decay, trauma, or a cracked tooth. Always see your dentist if there are signs of infection and sensitivity, as an untreated problem could lead to unnecessary tooth loss.
What Is A Root Canal Procedure?
Root canal therapy is a common dental procedure that treats teeth with known infection or nerve damage. The procedure consists of cleaning out the infection by removing the tooth’s pulp (nerve and blood vessels). This process leaves a hollow opening that runs the nerve canal’s length.
The dentist will then fill in the hollow canal. The type of tooth that requires a root canal is often a tooth that is missing some or much of its natural tooth structure, resulting in a weakened tooth that is susceptible to fracture. Additional procedures (such as onlays, overlays or crowns) may be required to protect the damaged tooth from fracture.
How Long Can You Have A Cavity Before It Needs A Root Canal Treatment?
Any time you feel pain, your dentist may rule out the need for a root canal. Hopefully, the source of pain is something small, like a cavity. Even that small cavity if left untreated can result in the need for a root canal, as with time the decay can spread into the nerve of the tooth. At other times, there may not seem like there’s a problem at all (especially if swelling isn’t visible.) Or it might seem as if the problem in your teeth went away, but in reality, the infection is lingering. A cavity can evolve into a painful condition requiring endodontic treatment in a matter of months.
When Do You Need A Root Canal And Not A Cavity Filling?
Your dentist will want to provide the least invasive care possible. For structural damage alone typically a root canal is not necessary, but if the damaged area already reaches into the tooth’s nerve, or we can see a visible abscess draining through the gum tissue then a root canal is necessary.
7 Signs You May Need A Root Canal (Symptoms)
- Pain when biting down
- Sensitivity to heat or hot foods/drinks
- Visible drainage or “pimple” on your gingiva
- Untreated decay
- Large crack
- Past trauma to the tooth
- Discolouration (darkening)
Does A Root Canal Hurt?
Working with a great dental team and a patient dentist will ensure your comfort. Our office provides relaxation options (such as sedation) as well as an anesthetic that’s strong enough to numb the gums and teeth. Your oral health and a gentle experience are our top priorities.
How Much Is A Root Canal?
The cost of a root canal varies depending on the tooth. Teeth with one nerve chamber are quicker to treat than those with two or three. Our office will create customized treatment plans for all cases so that you know how much the expected costs will be. Our front office staff can help you navigate your dental insurance, so you have an idea of what your coverage will be beforehand.
Do I Need A Root Canal If There Is No Pain?
Pain and swelling may be common, but they are not always present. You may experience mild or even the absence of symptoms for a time, but eventually that tooth will become painful.
What Happens If I Don’t Get A Root Canal?
Avoiding root canal therapy when you know you need one will ultimately result in more tooth pain. Avoiding fixing the problem that caused you to need a root canal(a large cavity for example) can result in additional procedures being necessary, which in turn results in higher costs and time to treat. Long-term delaying treatment can result in loss of your tooth.
How Long Does It Take To Need A Root Canal?
A typical untreated infected tooth can evolve from a cavity to an endodontic procedure(root canal) in less than a year. The timeline is difficult to predict and varies based on many factors. You might think it’s alright to try to buy some time, but more often than not, waiting leads to more dental treatment being required. Don’t put your filling off; otherwise, it will eventually turn into root canal treatment.
Gentle Root Canal Treatment
To help save your smile, gentle dentists will use common methods to ensure a relaxing experience. You can think of getting a root canal as you would any other type of routine dental treatment. If your tooth needs it, don’t delay. Your dentist will help you get out of pain.
Do This If You Are Experiencing Any Of These Signs You Need A Root Canal
Read more about our Ottawa root canal treatment and book your appointment.