Jason Deblinger, DMD answers the most frequently asked questions about root canals.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
If you feel extreme sensitivity to cold or heat or pain when biting or chewing, you may need a root canal.
Why would I need a root canal?
One needs a root canal when the nerve of a tooth gets inflamed or infected. This happens when bacteria reach the nerve either from a large cavity, a crack in the tooth or trauma to the tooth.
Who should I call if I have any of these symptoms?
You should call your local dentist or endodontist.
What is an endodontist?
It is a dentist who has completed two years of training to specialize in root canals.
What if you don't have access to an endodontist or dental care?
You should see if there is a local dental school where there are endodontic residents in training.
What happens during a root canal?
During a root canal the nerve and the bacteria in the canal is removed, therefore taking away the pain associated with the infection or inflammation.
Why is a root canal always associated with pain?
It may be because usually patients come see the dentist when they are in pain, therefore the connection. Root canals should not hurt and they will take your pain away!
What should I expect after the root canal?
You should experience a lot less pain. Minor soreness is usually controlled with over-the-counter drugs.