What Are the Signs That a Root Canal Is Needed?

What Are the Signs That a Root Canal Is Needed?

“Root canal” is a term used to refer to the pulp-filled natural cavity within the center of a tooth.  Root canals contain blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. Once a tooth has surfaced from the gums, its nerve does not have any specific function except sensing hot, cold or other stimuli.

A root canal treatment helps to repair or save an infected or decayed tooth. The procedure involves the extraction of the pulp and nerve, followed by the cleaning and sealing of the center of the tooth. If a decayed or infected tooth is left untreated, bacteria and other decaying material can cause a serious infection or a tooth abscess. 

What Are the Causes of Root Canal?

The main causes of a root canal are tooth decay and infection due to chips or cracks in the tooth. Root canal pain occurs when tooth decay penetrates through the outer layers of the teeth. If you experience tooth pain because of decay or infection in the tooth pulp, your dentist may recommend root canal treatment.

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

A root canal treatment is only required for tooth pain that is caused due to infection or decay of the tooth pulp. Signs you need root canal treatment include:

  • Severe tooth pain upon application of pressure or eating
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Teeth pain and prolonged sensitivity to cold or hot 
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums near the area of tooth pain
  • A small bump on the gums near the affected tooth 

Root Canal: Treatment

Root canal procedure involves one or more visits to the dentist, depending on your condition. The steps involved in the treatment are:

  • First, your dentist will conduct a mouth X-ray to determine the degree of your damage.
  • Local anesthesia is used during the procedure to numb the treatment area and prevent the pain.
  • After the tooth is numb, your dentist will place a protective sheet called “rubber dam” near it to keep it dry and free of saliva.
  • Your dentist will make an access hole in the crown of the tooth and then use special dental tools to remove the damaged pulp tissue and nerve.
  • Once the decay or infection is removed, your dentist either will seal your tooth the same day or will place a temporary filling while your customized crown is being made.  Your dentist will fill the root canals with a biocompatible material on the access hole.
  • During the final visit, your dentist will place a crown, filling, or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore its function.

Root Canal: Aftercare Tips

Your restored tooth will look and function like your natural tooth and can endure a lifetime with good dental hygiene. You may experience sensitivity and tooth pain for a few days after the root canal. For increased sensitivity, use soft-bristled toothbrush and other dental care products that are recommended for sensitive teeth.

If you need root canal treatment, contact Campustown Dental in Ames, IA. We have the latest dental equipment and a team of experienced dentists providing treatment in a compassionate and caring environment.


Campustown Dental

Campustown Dental, located in Ames, Iowa is a family dental care center committed to restoring and enhancing the healthy smile of you and your family. Our highly skilled dental team is dedicated to delivering the most comprehensive and affordable dental care accessible in the most comfortable surroundings.

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