Signs You May Need a Root Canal
By Dr. Melissa Smith
October 31, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

You know that your tooth is in danger. Pain, sensitivity and other symptoms disrupt your daily routine. If this describes your current life, please call Dr. Richard Herman, your dentist in St. Peters, MO, for an appointment. You may need root canal therapy, a tried and true restorative treatment which heals infected teeth and can spare them the dire consequences of extraction. Here are the details on root canals and why you may need this procedure.

What is root canal therapy?

A dentist uses root canal therapy to remove diseased and damaged pulp from the interior of a damaged tooth, they extend the life of that tooth by many, many years - perhaps even a lifetime.

During the root canal therapy, the dentist accesses the interior pulp chamber and thin canals which run down each root. These areas contain soft, innervated, and highly vascularized tissue which, when exposed to bacteria, can become infected, threatening tooth viability.

These infections result from oral injury, deep decay, multiple fillings, and other compromises to tooth enamel. However, because an adult tooth can survive without its pulp, your dentist can access the canals, extract the pulp, and seal the tooth to preserve it.

To begin this process, Dr. Herman X-rays a tooth to confirm it needs root canal therapy. He uses only local anesthetic during the procedure, and generally places a customized porcelain crown over the treated tooth. An elastic substance called gutta-percha strengthens and seals each root canal, protecting it from additional bacterial invasion.

Signs you may need a root canal

How do you know you need endodontic therapy? Of course, only your dentist can tell for sure. However, these danger signs tell you a root canal may be in your future:

  • You have an unrelenting, throbbing toothache.
  • You see puss at the margin between the tooth and the gums.
  • You have persistent bad breath (halitosis) which your usual oral hygiene routine does not relieve.
  • Upon biting into something hot or cold, you feel a lasting and uncomfortable dental sensitivity.
  • The tooth in question is very discolored, chipped or cracked.
  • The gums surrounding the tooth are reddened or have noticeable blemishes or pimples.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, please don't delay. Contact your dentist right away for an exam and X-ray imaging.

Find out more

Dr. Richard Herman is an expert in all kinds of restorative dental treatments. He can bring your smile back to full health and keep it that way with routine in-office care. To book a consultation on root canal therapy, please call our friendly St. Peters office staff at (636) 447-6060.


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