When Do You Need a Root Canal

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

Nov 01, 2022

Root canal therapy is a dental procedure to treat an infection affecting the center of your tooth. It is not painful and can save a tooth that might need to be completely removed.

A root canal is needed when dental x-rays taken by your dentist show that a bacterial infection has damaged your pulp. Your pulp may become inflamed if it is infected by bacteria causing the bacteria to multiply and spread, affecting your tooth.

This article will discuss some causes that may make you need a root canal, the signs and symptoms of pulpal damage, and the treatment options and procedures.

What Causes You to Need a Root Canal?

Some of the signs that you may need a root canal include:

  • Tooth pain that lingers. If you have deep pain in your tooth, you might need root canal therapy.
  • Sensitivity to healing or cold. You may need root canal treatment if your tooth hurts when you drink hot coffee or eat ice cream.
  • Swollen gums. When your tooth is infected, pus may collect in the area leading to puffy, swollen, or tender gums.
  • Pimple on the gums. You may develop a boil or abscess on your gum. In addition, pus from the infected tooth may drain out from the pimple, causing an unpleasant smell or taste.
  • Swollen jaw. When the pus does not drain out from the site, your jaw may become visibly swollen.
  • A cracked or chipped tooth. If you may have damaged your tooth from an accident or a sports activity, bacteria may reach the pup, causing pain.
  • Tooth discoloration. When your pulp is infected, it can cause your teeth to look darker as a result o poor blood supply to the tooth.

Signs & Symptoms of Pulpal Damage

Some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate that your pulp is damaged include:

  • Sudden, intense, and throbbing pain
  • Sensitivity to sweet drinks and food
  • A tooth that does not hurt when its tapped
  • Fever
  • Swelling around your gums and tooth
  • Bad breath

Root Canal Procedure & Treatment Options

Before your dentist begins the root canal, they will take dental x-rays to determine the extent of the damage to the affected tooth. This is also meant to help them ensure that a root canal is the right treatment option. Here are the

steps followed during a root canal procedure at our Dental office in Seminole:

  1. Anesthesia. Your dentist in Seminole will give you local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth and the gums surrounding it.
  2. Dental dam placement. Your dentist will place a small rubber dam over the area before beginning the root canal treatment. This helps to isolate the tooth and to keep it dry during the procedure.
  3. Access hole. A small opening is made in your tooth’s crown to access the pulp.
  4. Pulp removal. Tine dental instruments are then used to remove the blood vessels, the nerves, and the tissues inside your tooth.
  5. Shaping the canals. Once your pulp is removed, your dentist will clean, disinfect and shape the pulp chamber and the root canals.
  6. Filling the canals. Your dentist then fills the empty canals with a flexible rubber dental material termed gutta-percha.
  7. Sealing the tooth. A temporary filling is placed on the canal to seal the tooth and prevent bacteria from entering
  8. Placing the final restoration. After around three weeks, you will have to come for another appointment so that a custom-made dental crown will replace the temporary crown.

When to Contact Your Dentist

You should call your dentist at 33778 when you observe the abovementioned signs and symptoms. The sooner an infected tooth is treated, the better chance o saving it.

Routine check-ups are also important in reducing the risk of infection. Your dentist may detect problems before they worsen during these visits.


Experiencing tooth pain and swelling of your gums and jaw can be scary. Fortunately, a root canal treatment can remove the infection at its source, so you may feel better easily. If you suspect that your tooth has an infection of has an abscessed tooth, call Dr. Cecilia Sorelle immediately. Immediate treatment may prevent the infection from spreading and affecting other teeth and relieves your pain. If you are looking for a root canal specialist near you, visit Dental Arts Seminole.