Reasons for Requiring a Root Canal Procedure

  • Sep 11 2019

Why would someone need a root canal?

All things being equal, no one wants to be told by their dentist that they need root canal therapy. Just the thought can strike fear into grown men, whether they admit it or not. While there may have been some justification for this in the past, modern dental procedures have changed the experience, if not the perception.

There may well be a significant amount of pain associated with a tooth that requires root canal therapy, but that pain comes from the infection. Root canal treatment actually alleviates the pain.   

What Exactly Is a Root Canal?

Each tooth has a crown, the part that sits about the gum, and the roots, which are below the gum line and anchor the tooth into the bone of the jaw. Inside the tooth is the pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerve, and connective tissue and provides nourishment and moisture to the surrounding structure. The pulp that runs down into the roots of the tooth is contained within the root canals. 

While technically incorrect, we typically refer to the procedure that removes the pulp and nerve tissue as a root canal. This dental procedure is often done in order to save a tooth that has been damaged or is infected. Once bacteria has reached the pulp, the infection may result in a painful abscess that not only affects the immediate area but may spread. 

The good news is that the pulp in fully developed teeth can be removed, which will not hurt the structure of the tooth. The dentist will remove all of the tissue and thoroughly clean and disinfect the interior of the canal. Once this is done, the canal is usually filled with gutta-percha, a rubber or plastic-like material derived from certain Malaysian trees and known for its low toxicity. 

Possible Reasons for a Root Canal

There are a variety of reasons that might lead to the recommendation for a root canal procedure. Some of the more common ones include:

  • The telltale abscess that develops near the base of the tooth
  • Infection due to bacteria breaching the enamel and entering the pulp tissue
  • Damage to the nerve within the root canal
  • Bone loss around or near the root of the tooth

Symptoms That Indicate Deep Decay and Infection Within the Tooth

Anyone experiencing the following symptoms should make an appointment to consult with their dentist as soon as possible: 

  • Toothache that persists and is especially painful
  • Difficulty chewing without pain 
  • Temperature sensitivity—consuming hot or cold foods and beverages can cause pain in the infected tooth
  • Changing color in a particular tooth
  • Gums that are painful, tender and swollen
  • Bump or protrusion on the gum that does not go away

Symptoms indicating the possible need for a root canal can be very painful. No one wishes for a toothache, but there can be infection occurring without any noticeable signs. This could actually be more serious than having that toothache because the damage may be significant before you even know it is present. This makes regular dental exams with a dentist that you trust even more important. 

If you are experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort that may involve infection or have questions about any of our services, whether dentistry or aesthetics, Forest Hills Dentistry is dedicated to delivering the highest quality services possible. We offer the latest and most current information and services to our patients with a new state-of-the-art facility in Forest Hills, Queens. Patient comfort, individualized care, and complete satisfaction are our priority. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, you are invited to use our online form by clicking here.

Categories: Root Canal