When is a root canal needed?

When is a root canal needed?

Feb 01, 2023

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure to save or preserve the natural tooth. Due to the state of the technology, root canals are now comfortable and have a shorter recovery time. The root canal procedure focuses on cleaning or only removing the infected part of the tooth. The process can be done by your dentist or an endodontist near you. One can only be sure they need a root canal by visiting a dentist.

What are the signs that you need a root canal?

Have you been experiencing constant toothache caused by an infection or decay? Then you may need a root canal. However, tooth pain isn’t the only sign of a root canal. The following are several major signs that you may have a serious infection that requires treatment.

Persistent Pain

Pain is a major sign that you may require root canal treatment. You may experience toothache all day, or the pain may come and go away from time to time. The pain may be felt deep into the tooth bone or your jaw, face, or other teeth. Due to the pain, you may have trouble doing normal activities such as eating or drinking. Visit your dentist as soon as possible if you experience the above.

Tooth Discoloration

Having a pulp infection can cause your teeth to discolour. Also, discoloured teeth can result from poor hygiene, frequent intake of high-pigmented drinks and foods, or internal tissue damage in the tooth root. Your tooth pulp can also die due to inadequate blood supply signalling a need for root canal treatment.

Tooth Sensitivity

Does your tooth hurt when you put pressure on it? Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity that lasts for weeks and months without improvement? Then you may be up for a root canal treatment. Tooth sensitivity is a sharp or dull ache when you drink a warm cup of coffee, food, or an icy-cold glass of tea or water. Generally, prolonged tooth sensitivity is because of a damaged root that can’t heal itself. Get rid of the pain or sensitivity by seeking root canal treatment in Sunset Hills, MO.

Swollen Gums

If you have swollen gum tissues near an achy tooth, this could be a sign you need a root canal treatment. The affected gum tissue may be tender or painful when touched. Additionally, you may have a pimple on the gum, known as an abscess or gum boil. The pimple may ooze pus from the infected part of the tooth. And because of this, you will experience an unpleasant saliva taste or bad breath.

Deep Tooth Decay

Once your teeth have decayed, no amount of mouthwash rinsing, flossing, or brushing can reverse it. Instead, a neglected toot cavity spreads down into the root nerve. In this scenario, only a root canal treatment can solve this. This is why it’s important to have regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene.

How should I prepare for root canal treatment?

One needs to be prepared for root canal treatment to minimize pain and have a successful procedure. Here are steps to alleviate your anxiety or fear of root canals.


Before the appointment, have an in-depth conversation with your dentist about the procedure. Understanding the process can ease tension and anxiety if you know what to expect. At My STL Dentist, our team is always ready to address your concerns.

Eat Before the Procedure

The dentist will use anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding tissue. Anesthesia may take hours before wearing off completely, and the numbness will make eating difficult. Therefore, take your meal 2 hours or more before the appointment.


Before the appointment, get a full night’s sleep to ensure your body will be in its top form during the procedure. Our bodies do most of their repairs while asleep. Get enough rest or sleep after the procedure.

Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol 24 Hours Before

Ingredients in tobacco products can change our blood flow and cause bleeding issues after the procedure. Smoking can also slow down our recovery. Additionally, alcohol affects how our blood forms clots, dry our mouths and increases our heartbeats.

Take Prescribed Painkillers

The dentist may advise you to take painkillers before your procedure. Painkillers will help with reducing inflammation and pain management.

Having a root canal isn’t an ordeal anymore. They can preserve your damaged tooth for years. For more information, contact our dentist in Sunset Hills.

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