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If my tooth doesn't hurt, why do I need a root canal?

Patients may be skeptical when root canals are recommended if they’re not experiencing any pain, especially if they believe in the (largely inaccurate) negative reception surrounding this procedure. However, it’s not uncommon for a dentist to suggest that a patient consider a root canal in certain circumstances of damage to the teeth, even if the patient is not experiencing any discomfort.

A tooth may have a fracture or advanced decay that exposes the innermost core to oral bacteria. When those bacteria infiltrate the tooth’s pulp, the sensitive nerve endings can become painfully inflamed. The purpose of a root canal in such a case is to prevent such an infection from developing. It’s also important to consider that infections that reach the pulp can easily spread elsewhere in the body via the bloodstream.

Therefore, if there’s a significant fracture to the tooth or a large cavity reaches the pulp, your dentist may encourage you to consider a root canal as a preventive measure to keep your tooth from hurting at some point although you may not have any symptoms at the time of the procedure.

Patients may fear that root canals themselves will cause pain, but that’s typically not the case. With modern instruments and techniques, the experience is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled, according to the reports of most patients who undergo the procedure.

Root canals are completed right in the office, with a small hole being drilled in the tooth to access the root canal chamber and remove any pulp material that is either already infected or could potentially become infected. The empty chamber is then cleaned thoroughly and filled with an inert, rubber-like substance to keep bacteria out of the space in the future.

Even if you’re not experiencing dental pain, you still may need to undergo a root canal to protect your tooth. If you have any questions or concerns about this treatment, contact us at Richardson Dentistry to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members and get the facts you need to make a decision.

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