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When Do You Need a Root Canal?

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

Jun 01, 2023

What are Root Canal Causes?

Endodontic treatment is performed to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. When bacteria enter the tooth and reach the pulp or nerve, they can cause an infection, leading to pain, swelling, and even tooth loss.

This can happen due to deep decay or trauma to the tooth. Deep decay can occur when a cavity is not treated promptly, and the bacteria are left to attack the tooth further. Trauma to the tooth can happen due to accidents or sports injuries, and a chip or crack in the tooth can expose the nerves within the tooth.

It is important to see an endodontist near you immediately if you experience any pain or swelling in your teeth or gums to prevent the need for a root canal.

Signs & Symptoms of Pulpal Damage

Pulpal damage refers to the injury or inflammation of the pulp tissue inside a tooth. Some signs and symptoms of pulpal damage and the need to visit a dentist in Leesburg may include the following:

  • Tooth Sensitivity

You may feel discomfort when eating or drinking something hot or cold. Additionally, you may experience sharp pain when biting down on your food. This sensitivity can last several minutes or even hours after consuming anything too hot or cold.

  • Pain

Pain while chewing or biting is another symptom of pulpal damage. You may feel a dull ache in the affected tooth whenever you bite into food or chew. The intensity of this pain can vary depending on the extent of the injury to the pulp tissue.

  • Tooth discoloration

The affected tooth may appear darker than surrounding teeth due to bleeding within the pulp chamber. Swelling in the surrounding gum tissue and fever are less common symptoms but may indicate an infection in the pulp tissue.

  • Swelling

Swelling around the surrounding tissues can indicate that a root canal may be necessary. When the pulp is infected, it can spread to the surrounding gum tissue and cause swelling. This swelling is usually accompanied by pain and discomfort, especially when biting or chewing.

Root Canal Procedure & Treatment Options

A root canal procedure aims to save a tooth from extraction. It involves the removal of infected or damaged pulp.

The root canal procedure starts with a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Then, Dr. Josef Wollmann will open the tooth to access the pulp chamber. They will use specialized tools to remove the damaged pulp and clean out any debris. Finally, they will place a temporary filling on top of the tooth until a permanent restoration, such as a crown, can be placed.

There are various treatment options for a root canal procedure, depending on the severity of the damage. If caught early, a simple filling may suffice to treat the cavity. However, a root canal may be necessary if the infection has spread deep into the tooth’s root. In extreme cases, when the damage is too extensive for repair, the tooth may need to be extracted.

Routine dental checkups can also help detect underlying issues before they become more serious. Remember, neglecting your teeth can lead to painful dental problems, so ensure you take proper care of them.

When to Contact Your Dentist

Root canal procedures may seem daunting, but they can be common and necessary for many patients. After a root canal procedure, it is common to experience discomfort and swelling, but it is important to know when to contact your dentist. If you have severe pain lasting longer than a few days, you may need additional medication or an evaluation to ensure everything is healing properly.

Additionally, if you experience any swelling or fever, it is important to contact your emergency dentist in Leesburg as soon as possible. Your dentist may also want to schedule a follow-up appointment after your root canal procedure to ensure that everything is healing properly and that no further dental work is necessary.


While getting an endodontic treatment may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that this procedure can save your tooth and prevent further damage. Don’t hesitate to visit The Dental Co. of Leesburg if you suspect you need a root canal.

We are family-focused dentistry and our dentists are offering dental services around these areas of Leesburg, VA:

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