Oral & Vision Health Blog

Guest Blogger: What is a Root Canal and How is it Treated?

Is your tooth throbbing? Is it sensitive to hot and/or cold foods and drinks? Is this the same tooth your dentist or dental hygienist has been keeping an eye on? If so, you may be at risk of needing a root canal.

When some people think of a root canal, or even the word “dentist,” they may become overwhelmed with panic or anxiety. “Root canal” is a powerful phrase that carries with it the suggestion of a scary, invasive procedure. However, it really is no different than a cavity filling. To help alleviate any concerns about the idea of a root canal, this article will thoroughly explain the symptoms of and treatments for a tooth that needs this procedure.

If a tooth continues to zing in pain as time progresses, you should seek the opinion of a dental professional to find the source of the pain. A tooth’s pain is usually directly attributed to the nerve. Cavities themselves do not cause a person pain unless the tooth decay reaches the part of the tooth where the nerves reside. Some common problems leading to tooth or mouth pain include the following:

  • Mouth sore, which can be caused by a highly acidic diet, or as a result of sexually transmitted infection.
  • Abscessed tooth, which is when the gum and root of a tooth develops an infection, commonly caused by the decaying of the tooth and other mouth trauma. An abscessed tooth can also be the result of pre-existing gum disease, broken, cracked or chipped teeth or gingivitis.

If the tooth’s nerve is the source of the pain, then it often signals that the nerve is inflamed or dying. If the nerve is not the problem, it could be reacting to tooth decay reaching and impacting the tooth’s dental pulp. That’s the innermost part of the tooth that hosts blood vessels and the tooth’s nerves. Trauma could be from tooth decay, outside forces impacting the face or recurring treatment to any tooth including fillings. Whenever there is trauma to the dental pulp, you are directly at risk of bacteria-related illnesses.

Dentists everywhere highly recommend seeking professional care whenever you start noticing the following symptoms:

  • Unbearable pain from chewing and mouth pressure
  • Irritating sensations from hot or cold temperatures
  • Change in a singular tooth’s color, especially if it starts to look darker
  • Never-ending or recurring blistering to the gums, usually near the impacted tooth

A common misconception with root canals is that you’ll lose the tooth. The procedure doesn’t leave you toothless. Successful root canals scrape out the inner part of the tooth, repack it with adequate enamel-like material, and then seal the edges to help prevent future tooth decay. A cavity filling is a very similar procedure, but with root canals, patients tend to get anxious about the scraping of the dental pulp area. Understandably so, but there’s nothing to worry about—your dentist will make you as comfortable as possible. You’ll be happy with the results, and pain-free in no time.

If you would like to learn more about root canals and other dental procedures, consult a dental professional today!

The Center for MicroSurgical Endodontics of Scottsdale, Ariz. is led by Dr. Glen Doyon and his educated team. Our very own esteemed Dr. Doyon is very involved in continuing his efforts to deliver top-notch patient assistance with the most up-to-date technology. Our office is also one of very few that offers Cone Beam Computed Tomography imaging for accurate maneuverability in treating your teeth as well as anxiety-relieving procedures and techniques to put you at ease. Please check out our website to see why Dr. Doyon is the answer to your root canal.


questions to ask the dentist