The Not-So-Painful Truth: 3 Reasons Why You Might Need A Root Canal, Even When You Aren'T In Pain

Dentist Blog

The thought of needing a root canal is enough to elicit fear in many dental patients. While it might be easier to accept a needed root canal when your tooth is causing you discomfort, hearing that you need a root canal when you have no pain can be downright disheartening.

Here are 3 reasons why you might not be feeling any pain, even though your tooth needs a root canal procedure.

1. Your body is holding the infection at bay.

Teeth that suffer from chronic infections can actually be quite painless. This is because the body is adept when it comes to managing infection. As soon as a bacterial invasion of your tooth is detected, the body deploys specific types of white blood cell known as neutrophils. These neutrophils stick to bacteria, rendering them useless.

Although your body might not be able to completely get rid of the infection plaguing your tooth, neutrophils could be containing the infection so that your discomfort doesn't pass your pain threshold. Only a root canal will completely eliminate the infection, so a lack of pain is no reason to avoid a root canal procedure.

2. Your tooth is broken, and there isn't enough structure left to support a crown.

Broken teeth can present serious problems for the dentists trying to restore them. Crowns are the most common tools used by dentists to replace broken or missing teeth, but these crowns cannot be held firmly in place unless there is enough tooth structure remaining.

When the tooth has been broken so badly that a crown can't be successfully placed, your dentist will recommend a root canal to clean out the nerve canal. This frees up space for a post to be placed within the tooth. The post can then be used to anchor the crown, allowing the crown to function properly. So, while a broken tooth might not cause you physical pain, a root canal might be required to help prepare the tooth for the placement of a crown.

3. You have an old filling that exhibits signs of recurrent decay.

Some old fillings can begin to show signs of further decay. If there is discoloration in the enamel near your dental fillings, or you notice small cracks forming in your tooth's enamel, these are signs of recurrent decay. Removing the old filling and replacing it might not be sufficient to address the problem.

Your dentist might need to perform a root canal to prevent the tooth from becoming sensitive to temperature, and to stop any further decay of the nerves within the roots of the tooth. Old fillings might not cause any physical pain, but the replacement of these fillings might need to be preceded by a root canal.

Don't make the mistake of believing that just because you feel no pain you don't need a root canal. Taking the time to understand some situations where a root canal is warranted, even when no physical discomfort is present, will help you better care for your teeth in the future.


13 February 2015

Give Yourself the Gift of a Beautiful Smile

If you are someone who hesitates to open your mouth when you smile because you are embarrassed about your teeth, you should know that there are a number of cosmetic techniques that can give you a beautiful smile you will be proud to show to the world. As a cosmetic dentist, I have seen many clients transform their lives simply by fixing their smiles. This blog is meant to encourage people to find out about the possibilities in cosmetic dentistry so they can feel good about their smiles. A beautiful, confident smile really can change your life. I would love to show you how.