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How Does Your Dentist Decide You Need A Root Canal?

How Does Your Dentist Decide You Need A Root Canal?

A root canal is necessary when an infection has made its way into the pulp of the tooth. This is the centre most part of the tooth that is made of soft tissue which contains nerves. If the pulp is infected, your dentist will try to save the remaining natural tooth by removing the inflamed or infected pulp. They will then carefully clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth before they fill and seal it. This whole process is called a root canal, and it is used to help save the tooth while eliminating pain. If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth (infected pulp) seek emergency dental treatment immediately. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause serious infection that spreads throughout the rest of the mouth and bloodstream. Here are some signs of an abscessed tooth that should signal you to go to the dentist.

Signs You Need To Visit The Dentist For A Root Canal

A Toothache
While there can be several causes of toothaches, regular or persistent pain is often a sign that a root canal might be needed. Even if the pain is not experienced consistently, if it repeatedly comes back, the issue is likely within the innermost part of the tooth. Whether or not you think you may need a root canal, you should always visit a dentist if your toothache persists for more than 2 days. If you visit your dentist for a toothache, they will check for any abscesses, any cracks in the teeth, anything that could be disturbing the gums, and more to find the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Sensitive Teeth
It is normal for people to have a reaction to hot or cold foods, which is referred to as having sensitive teeth. But if this sensitivity is newly developed or severe, it can be a sign of damaged blood vessels and nerves within the teeth. If the pain from sensitive teeth lingers or if it feels like either a deep ache or a sharp pain, it may be time to visit the dentist to see if you need a root canal.

Your teeth may also be sensitive to contact. If you experience pain when you touch your tooth or when you eat, it may be due to nerve pain. If you experience tooth pain only briefly or if it is mild, there may be other causes. If you are experiencing mild tooth pain while eating sweet foods, hot or cold foods, or when feeling pressure on your tooth, book an appointment with your dentist. Pain that is ongoing or sharp could indicate the need for a root canal and should be addressed right away.

A Loose Tooth
Loose teeth in children might be exciting, but in adults they are highly concerning. If your tooth becomes loose, it could be infected within the pulp. Nerve death within the tooth will produce acidic waste that damages the tooth and gums, causing the tooth to be mobile, or become “loose”. If your tooth is loose, contact your dentist right away. Even if the loose tooth is not from an abscessed tooth, it could be from a gum infection, called periodontitis.

A Damaged Tooth
Whether chipped, cracked, or broken, if your tooth has suffered an injury that exposes the pulp it may be at risk of developing an infection. When the pulp is exposed to the air it can be susceptible to bacteria that causes infection. Even if the pulp is not exposed, damage from any sustained injury may cause swelling and inflammation that leads to nerve pain. Either of these could require a root canal from your dentist.

Have A Root Canal From A Calgary Dentist

If you are experiencing tooth pain, visit a Calgary dentist right away. The sooner you get your tooth fixed, the higher the chances are of saving the natural tooth and ensuring you do not develop a more severe infection that spreads. If you suspect you may need a root canal in Calgary, visit Marlborough Dental Centre. Our NE Calgary dentists have years of experience in performing root canals and our gentle approach and focus on your comfort will ensure you have a stress-free treatment. The root canal treatment is quick and easy, with administered localized anaesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain or discomfort. Our Calgary dentists will quickly and effectively remedy your abscessed tooth to keep you healthy and stop the pain caused by infection and inflammation. To schedule an appointment with a Calgary dentist, contact Marlborough Dental Centre at 1-403-248-2066 or fill out the contact form.


Q: What does a root canal involve?
A: As the procedure typically only involves one tooth, you will likely be awake for your root canal, although you will receive some local anaesthesia to numb the affected area. Your Calgary dentist will then remove the damaged nerve tissues and fill the tooth with a composite dental resin. For more details about the procedure, read What To Expect During A Root Canal Procedure.

Q: How successful are root canals?
A: While the success rate depends greatly on individual circumstances, the typical success rate for root canals to alleviate pain and solve the issue ranges between 85-95%.

Q: At what point does a cavity need a root canal?
A: Most cavities that are new can be easily fixed with fillings. However, if left to worsen, a root canal may be needed if the cavity becomes too deep to be fixed with a filling and is starting to cause an infection or tooth decay.

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