Root Canal

Toothaches are as excruciatingly painful as they are common most adults in the US have tooth decay that causes toothaches. But How Can a Dentist Tell If You Need a Root Canal?

To find out if you need a root canal treatment is like trying to figure out if you need a filling. It can be difficult during those early stages of a problem to know if better oral hygiene efforts can solve the issue or if dental work is required. This is because many of the signs can only be determined by a trained dentist.

Many people throw around the term root canal in the event of the slightest sign of a toothache. It’s highly unlikely for the average person to determine when they need a root canal. That said, your best bet in knowing whether you need one is seeing the dentist and if you are in Arlington Heights or surrounding area we want to invite you for check ups.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Do I need endodontic care?

What are the signs that a root canal is the answer to your tooth pain?


It is important to inform your dentist about any of the following symptoms. Since root canals aren’t so scary anymore, there’s no need to be afraid of being honest with the dentist. 

Here are 7 main symptoms that may tell you that you may need root canals:


1. Severe Pain


Another reason why you could be feeling pain is deep decay. This refers to decay that’s already affecting the roots and nerves of the tooth.

If you have spontaneous pain that hits you like a wave, it is likely that you have an infected or dead tooth that may need a root canal.


2. Bumps on the Gums 


If you notice any bumps on your gums, this could be a sign of an infected tooth roots and needing a root canal. These pimple-like bums are known as a fistula. 


3. Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold 

Many people experience tooth sensitivity, especially when eating cold or hot foods and drinks. Usually, it goes away after using special toothpaste.

Now, if your tooth sensitivity doesn’t improve even after using special toothpaste, it may be time to visit a dentist. The nerves of your tooth may be damaged, which is why you’re experiencing prolonged sensitivity.


4. Swollen or Tender Gums 


If you’ve noticed that your gums are swollen it may be a sign of an infected tooth. Sometimes we can have inflamed gums after flossing or brushing too hard, this is different. The swollen gums will be tender and a bit painful to the touch and will remain swollen. 

As to why this happens, you have to keep in mind that inflammation is one of the ways your body deals with infections or injuries. In some cases, the infected pulp could be so bad it would start secreting waste matter (abscess).


5. Darkening of the Gums 


The darkening of the gums is a sign that the gums are decayed. If there is an infection and the tooth is dying, the gums will begin to decay. This is a telltale sign that you may need a root canal. 


6. Chipped or Cracked Tooth 

One of the ways bacteria can invade your tooth is when it gets chipped or cracked. This is why you need to avoid eating hard foods.

A chipped or cracked tooth is a two-fold sign of a tooth that may need a root canal. For one, perhaps there was trauma on the tooth that created the chip or crack and has now caused inflamed or infected pulp. Secondly, the tooth may be so far decayed or infected that it is cracked or chipped from being dead. Either way, you’ll need likely a root canal to try to save the remainder of the tooth. 


7. Tender Gums 


If your gums are tender to the touch, or even without touch, you may have root canal pain. 

When at the dentist, be sure to mention your tender gums. 

Root Canal Procedure and Treatment Steps


A root canal is a multi-step dental procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp (and sometimes the nerve) from a tooth, and sealing it to protect against future teeth pain.

Here’s what you can expect when you have a root canal therapy to relieve root canal pain:

  • Step 1:

Setting the Scene and preparing your mouth and tooth. We first take care of one of the biggest misconceptions about root canal therapy: that they’re painful. We completely numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with local anesthesia to ensure you will be comfortable during the procedure. We isolate the affected tooth with a thin sheet of rubber or vinyl called a rubber dam to create a sterile environment while we work on the tooth. We then access the inside of the tooth — the pulp and root canals — by drilling a small hole through the biting surface if it’s a back tooth or through the rear surface if it’s in the front.

  • Step 2:

Cleaning, shaping and filling the tooth. Once we’ve gained access we’ll clear out all of the dead or dying tissue from the pulp and root canals, and then cleanse the empty chamber and canals thoroughly with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions. Once we’ve cleaned everything out, we’ll shape the walls of the tiny root canals to better accommodate a filling material called gutta-percha, which we then use to fill the canals and pulp chamber.

  • Step 3:

Sealing the tooth from re-infection. Once we complete the filling, we’ll seal the access hole and temporarily close the tooth with another filling. Later, we’ll install a permanent crown that will give the tooth extra protection against another infection, as well as restore the tooth’s appearance.

You may experience some mild discomfort for a few days after a root canal, which is usually manageable with aspirin or ibuprofen. In a week or so, you’ll hardly notice anything — and the tooth-threatening decay and any toothache it may have caused will be a distant memory.


Root Canal Therapy and Dental Care In Arlington Heights IL

The only way to know you have an abscess in your tooth and Your tooth could requires a root canal is getting x-rays during your regular dentist appointment.

We invite you to schedule an appointment with our office soon. During the appointment, our staff will complete a thorough examination in order to determine the dental treatments that will be best to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.


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