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When is a root canal needed?

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: roseguard  (9 years ago)
Hello,

My bottom right first molar had been giving me on and off dull pain in the past four months. Three days ago, the pain got worse. I went to the dentist to have it checked. He said I sounded like I needed a root canal done. He took x-ray and did a tap test but everything turned out fine. He asked me to wait for a few more days and if it continued to ache, he will refer me to an endodontist.

How do you know that a root canal is really needed? The dentist could not see anything wrong with the tooth but he is suggesting a root canal. So, why would a root canal needed if the tooth is fine, no decay, no abscess, only an on and off pain? Please advise! Thanks so much!
User Level:
Student
Posted by: ghnane  (9 years ago)
Hello. A root canal is performed when the pulp inside our teeth becomes inflamed due to caries activity and needs to be removed. Also in instances of deep caries when it reaches the pulp, root canal is done.
In your case your dentist could not detect caries on radiographs which is strange for a tooth that is candidate for root canal. If there is no decay and the pain is periodic you should wait with the treatment and may also consult another dentist. If root canal is done it is followed by crown placement if the preparation is extensive and the longevity of the tooth will depend on the proficiency of the dentist in performing root canal and crowning of the tooth and on your oral hygiene. I hope this helps.
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