How do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

How do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

Don’t let fear take your tooth, there are many ways to know if and when you need a root canal

In terms of teeth, what comes to mind when you hear, “HE WHO SHOULD NOT BE NAMED…”

You’re exactly right, it’s the dreaded ROOT CANAL! For most people, finding out they need to have a root canal procedure can initially bring fear and anxiety. Well, fear not! We’re here to help and eliminate the stigmas linked to the dreaded root canal. 

What is the procedure for a root canal?

To accomplish that goal, we must first understand what exactly a root canal procedure is, as well as what it is that causes the need for a root canal. If you’re someone who has already had a root canal, you might remember the pain and incredible inconvenience of it but don’t recall what the underlying reason(s) were. If you’re one of the fortunate people who have never had the pleasure… We commend you and keep up the good teeth cleaning habits! That being said, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and have the knowledge or wherewithal to detect a possible problem with your teeth.

The reason why you need a root canal

Now brace yourselves, one of the main causes behind the need for a root canal procedure is YOU! Are you shocked? Appalled? How could we suggest such a thing? But you know the rule, don’t shoot the messengers. Here’s the amazing news, we’re much, much more than just dental messengers. We’re dedicated to you, your health, and providing you with the information and tools to not only understand the whys of a root canal but more importantly learn early detection signs; ensuring you’re able to take preventative actions and overcome the fear of silly old’ ‘It who should not be named’. 

First off, we must correct ourselves, “you/we” are not always solely responsible for the cause and/or need for a root canal procedure. Being human and going through the everyday activities of life can also cause issues with your teeth. External sources can play a large part in causing damage to your mouth and teeth. It could be anything from a drinking glass knocking into your tooth or falling straight on your face, and any type of harm to your teeth can have lasting effects.

The reason for a root canal procedure is to repair and save a tooth that has become damaged or infected. Different from the outside of our teeth, the inside of our teeth contain pulp, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. Although the tooth pulp is used for sensory, once our grown teeth breach through the gums, the pulp is no longer necessary to the tooth’s survival. In general, constant pain and aches in a tooth is always a telltale sign that something is wrong, and that your tooth may need a root canal.

Signs that you may need a root canal procedure

  • Constant pain and aches in a tooth, especially when chewing or applying pressure
  • Swelling or tenderness of the nearby gums
  • Sensitivity towards hot and cold temperatures
  • Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
  • A crack or break present in a tooth

Constant pain is usually our body’s last signal system alerting you that something is wrong. The positive news is, there are several other signs or signals that can arise before the long-term pain sets in. 

On some occasions, a person’s tooth can be infected and in need of a root canal but there won’t be any signs alerting them of this. Because of this, we’d be remiss not to mention the most controllable way to avoid the need for a root canal. And that big secret is… Proper teeth cleaning daily and regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and checkups! Can you believe it?! Ha-ha! We hope you’re catching our little sarcasm there but truthfully, having a dentist you know and trust who also knows your teeth can be as important as detecting the problem early.

Finding a Dentist in Kennewick to Trust for Your Root Canal

Other than early detection, one of the most difficult things to do is find a trustworthy dentist that you know will take care of you. One of the most helpful and good old fashion ways to find a trustworthy dentist is to ask your friends, family, colleagues, or neighbors. The ones we care about and who care about us usually will not let us astray and so their word is a good start.

These days, thanks to the internet, you can also research potential dentists online, including their credentials through state licensing websites and/or Even with dentists who are referred to you, DO YOUR RESEARCH. 

  • Check the dentists’ years of experience and specialty training
  • Read online patient review about the Doctor and the office
  • Consider the location and office hours; some patients need Saturday or evening appointments to be available
  • Request a consultation appointment, especially if you experience fear and anxiety about dental care. 

Most importantly, ask all the questions you have about any fears and discuss those fears with the doctor to see how they would be addressed. Visit the dental office and consider their environment. Are you comfortable and confident? This is all about YOU and what dentist is you most comfortable with.

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