When Do You Need A Root Canal?

shutterstock_390458320Did you know that root canals are one of the most feared dental procedures? Unfortunately, they’ve gotten a bad reputation over the years – but, contrary to popular belief, root canals are not usually painful. In fact, you’ll probably feel more pain in your tooth before than you would during the procedure. So, when do you need a root canal? When the pulp (nerve) of a tooth becomes infected, your dentist will likely recommend root canal therapy in order to save the existing healthy structure of your natural tooth. Without this treatment, the infection can worsen and you could risk losing the tooth altogether!

Signs You May Need A Root Canal

Often times, the most common symptom when you need a root canal is tooth sensitivity and pain. Typically, the tooth will be sensitive to extreme temperatures, but the sensitivity won’t go away when the temperature is removed – it could linger for a while. Additionally, applying any pressure to the tooth could cause extreme pain, like when biting or chewing.

Can You Avoid Root Canal Therapy?

The best (and only) way to avoid root canal therapy is to catch the tooth decay before it affects the pulp of your tooth. Once the infection has progressed this far, however, a root canal is necessary to keep the natural tooth in your mouth.

How Does A Root Canal Work?

A root canal actually works very similarly to a dental filling procedure, except instead of just filling a small portion of your tooth structure, your dentist fills the tooth all the way down to its roots. First, they’ll remove any infected portion of your tooth – in this case, probably the nerve – and replace it with a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha. Once filled, they’ll seal the tooth and cover it with a dental crown to protect it from any further damage.


If you’re feeling tooth sensitivity or severe pain, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist!