How can you tell if you need to get a root canal? Check out this helpful guide from Dr. Christian Johnson on how to identify conditions that need a root canal.

Do I Need A Root Canal?

Do I Need A Root Canal?
Posted on 08/23/2018

Root canals are a vital dental treatment that can help prevent the spread of infection and damage from taking over the rest of your smile, while also providing relief from the pain caused by oral health issues. The process of a root canal is fairly simple, where the soft tissue called the “pulp” in the center of your tooth is cleared away if it is damaged or at risk, with that space then being filled with a special material that will protect the tooth. But how does one know when a root canal is necessary instead of some other dental treatment?

While you can get your answer by scheduling an appointment with your dentist for a dental examination, it’s helpful to be able to identify the signs in smile that can signal the need for a root canal. To make it easy for you, you can learn more about what are the most common issues that would require a root canal as treatment and what kind of symptoms you should look for, courtesy of your local Waldorf, MD dental experts here at the office of Dr. Christian Johnson, DMD.

What Problems Require A Root Canal?

The pulp of your tooth is made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that all play a big role in the development of your teeth when you’re young. However, once your teeth are fully developed, the pulp is not longer a necessary component of your tooth structure, but it remains susceptible to various dental issues. For a root canal to be necessary, that pulp would need to become infected or inflamed, which comes with a great deal of pain for the patient. The inflammation or infection could be the result of a variety of dental issues including:

  • Severe tooth decay

  • Multiple dental procedures on the tooth

  • Damage due to a strong impact

  • A large crack or chip in the tooth

Regardless of the reason for the inflammation or infection, the tooth will require a root canal to prevent the issue from getting worse and affecting your other, healthy teeth.

What Symptoms To Look For

While some cases of infection or inflammation that require a root canal have a clear indicator such as a crack or chip in a tooth, often times patients find themselves just experiencing severe tooth pain without knowing the true cause. However, there are some symptoms that you can look out for that can signal damage to the tooth pulp. Symptoms of pulp damage that would require a root canal include:

  • Severe pain that does not go away

  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures

  • Discoloration of the tooth

  • Swelling or increased redness of the gums around the painful area

  • Tenderness of the tooth or gums to the touch or when chewing

In some cases, there may be no symptoms that show up, which can make it difficult to identify a dental issue that would require a root canal without a thorough examination from a dentist.

Schedule Your Dental Visit Today!

If you have any questions about root canals or are experiencing severe tooth pain and think that you may need a root canal, just contact us at the office of Dr. Christian Johnson DMD today! A member of our staff will be able to assist you, providing you the answers to your questions or helping you get scheduled for your consultation and dental exam with Dr. Johnson. For years, we have worked with families all over Waldorf, Brandywine, and La Plata, MD to create healthier smiles, providing professional dental care for all ages.