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3 Common Questions About Root Canals

Do you have a tooth that is causing you pain, and your dentist has informed you that you need a root canal? If so, you are likely filled with questions about this procedure. It is a way to disconnect the tooth from the nerves and blood supply, which will help eliminate the pain and keep the tooth in your jawbone. Here are a few things that you need to know about this procedure.

How Can You Be Sure That A Root Canal Is Necessary?

There are several tests that your dentist can do to be sure that you need a root canal. The most basic test involves applying pressure to the tooth. By touching each individual tooth and applying a moderate amount of pressure, your dentist can tell which tooth is causing you pain. They'll also perform thermal testing, which is done by exposing a tooth to hot and cold temperatures. While cold sensitivity is common for teeth, hot sensitivity usually means that there is a problem within a tooth.

Your dentist can also perform an electric pulp test, which may sound weird, but it uses a low voltage current to test if you can feel it through the tooth's pulp. A tooth that is dead will not cause you to feel the electrical current. 

Does A Root Canal Hurt? 

Root canals have a bad reputation for being a painful procedure, but these days that is not true at all. Your mouth is completely numb for the procedure and you will not feel a thing. In fact, it feels no different than having a cavity filled. The discomfort from getting a root canal comes from the long amount of time that you need to have your mouth open. It can be as long as an hour in some situations, which is a very long time to keep your mouth open.

What Happens If You Don't Get A Root Canal?

Be aware that the need for a root canal comes from having an infected tooth that needs to be treated. Even if you do not feel pain at the moment, know that your body's immune system has been taking care of dealing with the infection so far so you don't experience pain. That bacteria from the infection then gets into your bloodstream, which can go to other parts of your body. It's not just the tooth that you have to worry about since your mouth is connected to the rest of your body.