1724 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220
12370 Olio Road, Fishers, IN 46037

Why do I need a root canal?

Why do I need a root canal?

If you are asking this question you might be in pain.  The pain is most likely caused by an infection (abscess) in the nerve (pulp) of the tooth.

Symptoms can be:

- Throbbing pain

- A dull ache

- Swelling

- Pressure pain

- Pain that is worse at night

When the nerve is infected there are two ways to remove the nerve – extracting the tooth and having a root canal (endodontic therapy).  The nerve does not have the ability to heal once infect, so simply taking an antibiotic will not solve the problem.   At Martin dentistry you will be examined to determine the best course of treatment.

If an infection suddenly develops it may not be visible on an xray.  Ig the infection has been around for a while sometimes a dark spot can be seen on the xray.  The dark spot is the result of bone being destroyed by the infection.  There can be a swelling with puss or a pimple on the tissue around an infected tooth.

Nerves can be chronically irritated (irreversible pulpitis) by deep decay, a deep filling or a crack.  When this happens temperature (cold and hot) can be painful.  Chewing with the tooth may cause it to ache for a while. The nerve is not yet dead, but it is on its way out.  Normally there is no swelling with pulpitis.

The nerve exists inside the tooth and root.  Think of a root canal like a filling on the inside of the tooth.  The nerve chamber and canals are cleaned, shaped, dried and then filled with a rubber like material.  That way the infection is physically removed and the area sealed.  The root canal filling will appear as white lines down the root(s) of the teeth.


Root canal B & A

After a root canal a tooth will require a crown or a filling depending on the extent of damage.  The symptoms of pain normally go away within a week, but the area may be sore as the tissue around the tooth heals.

At Martin dentistry, your Indianapolis dentist, we will take the time to listen to your concerns and evaluate your symptoms.  Depending upon the case and severity, you can be referred to a root canal specialist (endodontist).  If you are having pain and you think you may need a root canal, please have an exam as soon as possible to help determine treatment and to ensure a good outcome.

* All information subject to change. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.