Root Canals Used To Be Scary, But Not Anymore

So, you have a tooth that hurts, and you are wondering whether or not you might need a root canal?  “Not necessarily” so, is probably the answer.  Our experience tells us that there could be several reasons for your painful tooth, including:

  • You may have eroded enamel.
  • You may have a cracked or chipped tooth.
  • You may have a tooth cavity.
  • You may have food stuck in the surface ridges of your tooth, or in between them.

A root canal would not need to be performed, in these four scenarios, in order to treat the problem.  We can remove the particles of food that are responsible for any discomfort, and do proper teeth cleaning, for example.  In our family dentist office, we can remove any decay you may have, and put in a filling quickly, when you have a cavity, and it is much less invasive than a root canal.

Likewise, we can fully restore a cracked or chipped tooth, using veneers or dental bonding, and you may need to protect a tooth with eroded enamel using one of our dental crowns.  In our office, we have several ways of restoring teeth using cosmetic dentistry and do so on an almost daily basis. 

There are many times, however, when the right treatment option is a root canal, and so we must look closely at all the circumstances that are giving rise to the question, “do I need a root canal if my tooth hurts?

How long have you had a painful tooth?

When you come into our office, we will need to know things like…whether the pain has slowly built up over time, or whether it came on suddenly, and about how long this issue has been bothering you.  What your treatment plan should be, ultimately, will depend on the answers to these questions.

What is the level of your pain?                                                             

Whether or not your tooth pain is manageable, is a question we regularly ask our patients.  You may be able, for example, to have tooth decay removed without using a root canal when you visit our office if the discomfort level is not too severe, and the toothache is only caused by a cavity.

A root canal may indeed be warranted, however, if severe infection is determined to be the cause of the intense pain!  If you develop any of the following symptoms please call our office for an appointment right away: 

  • A sure sign of an infection is when the tooth begins changing its’ color from white to a dull or gray color. To restore the health of the tooth in this case, a root canal could be needed.
  • Your tooth could be infected, requiring a standard root canal, if you can’t bite down without pain. The procedure could be performed quickly if that is the case.
  • If you are having swallowing difficulties, call our office immediately, as it may require urgent care in our emergency dental office this case! This can develop into an infection called an abscess, that can spread from your tooth root into your neck and the floor of your mouth, so don’t take any chances or delay with this particular symptom.
  • If you develop a swollen face, an immediate root canal could be needed due to an infection! Give us a call so we can do a quick exam, administer any treatment needed.


After the initial question of whether or not a root canal is needed because of tooth pain, “what is the typical process?”, is usually the next question. 

As a qualified cosmetic dentist, we would look forward to answering all the questions you may have about a possible root canal during your consultation appointment.  One of the first things of which we want to assure you is that a root canal does not have to be a painful or anxious experience.  We can help you feel very relaxed and calm, in fact, by using sedation therapy.  

A typical root canal removes the infection that caused the discomfort initially, and most of our patients tell us that they feel much better when their treatment is finished. 

You can look forward to the following treatments when you come to our office for a root canal:

  • We will use a crown or filling to restore your tooth
  • We will use a rubbery substance to seal it
  • We will clean the interior of your tooth
  • We will remove the portion that is infected
  • We will make a small hole in your tooth
  • We will numb the area of your infected tooth
  • We will clean your infected tooth

A typical root canal can be done easily and quickly, when a skilled cosmetic dental professional, such as ours completes the work.!

Please call us today, in order to schedule an appointment, or learn more about a possible root canal solution for you.  Not only can we repair and/or restore your infected or damaged tooth, but we can also, as a competent cosmetic dental office, offer other solutions that can improve your smiles, such as dental bridges and crowns, teeth whitening, and dental implants and veneers.  We are here to serve all your dental needs. 

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