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Top 3 Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Andler Dental
Located a short distance from Lake Mendota and Downtown Madison, Andler Dental knows that a patient’s smile goes beyond just their teeth. We want our dental patients to feel comfortable and confident in both the look and feel of their teeth.
BY Andler dental

Root canal -- two simple words that can invoke a whole lot of apprehension and sometimes even fear. But the truth is, if you’re experiencing tooth pain so severe that a root canal is needed, the procedure actually relieves the pain. But how do you know if the pain you have is root canal worthy? My Madison dental office is here to provide you with some of the top signs.


  • Tooth Pain. Obviously tooth pain is the first possible sign you may need a root canal. However, what makes root canal-needing pain different from other type of pain is that it gets worse when eating, biting down, or with any pressure.
  • Sensitivity. A lot of people have sensitive teeth. And just because you may have some sensitivity, especially with hot or cold food and drinks, doesn’t necessarily mean you need a root canal. However, those who do need a root canal have sensitivity that doesn’t go away once the hot or cold element is removed. The sensitivity pain lingers around for awhile.
  • Gum Inflammation. It’s not only the tooth that shows symptoms. The gums nearby the painful tooth may also show signs of a needed root canal. Usually, the gums are painful, swollen, and may have a small, raised bump on them.

How is a Root Canal Done?

If you identify with the symptoms above and you’ve realized a root canal may be what you need, you probably want to know what it involves. First, prior to getting started, your Madison dentist will numb the area to ease any discomfort. Once that is activated, the process can begin.

  • Make a tiny hole. This hole allows access to the inside of the tooth where all the stuff is located that’s causing so much pain.
  • Clean the pulp chamber. The pulp chamber is the space inside a tooth that contains canals. These canals are basically tubes where the nerves, pulp, and blood vessels are kept. During a root canal, all of the contents of the canals are removed, making it impossible for the tooth to feel any pain.
  • Seal it up. Now that the canals are empty, it’s necessary to fill them up. The canals are filled and the tooth most commonly gets a dental crown. These dental restorations help avoid future infection of the same tooth.

Whenever someone experiences tooth pain, it’s a sign that something isn’t right, and it’s important to seek the advice and treatment of a dentist as soon as possible. If you’re having tooth pain, and especially if you think a root canal is what you need, call my dental office in Madison to schedule an appointment. We’ll evaluate what’s going on and work with you to determine best treatment to help relieve the pain. Accepting patients from Madison, Middleton, Verona and beyond.

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