Wedgewood Dental

What Is A Root Canal?

What Is A Root Canal?

How many of us understand what a root canal is? Not many! A Root Canal is a procedure to remove the fragile pulp in the middle of your tooth once it gets infected.

The pulp, which supports tooth growth, comprises connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. A general dentist or endodontist often carries out this procedure. Find out more about this treatment by reading on!

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

Infection of the pulp inside your tooth by oral bacteria mostly necessitates root canal therapy. It typically occurs when a cavity is neglected over an extended period. Additionally, it could happen if a traumatized tooth cracks or sustains other damage.

Symptoms That Indicate You May Need Root Canal Therapy

You might not always be aware if you have an infected tooth. However, numerous people report common symptoms. The need for a root canal can be indicated by:

1. Persistent Toothache

A variety of dental issues can result in persistent tooth pain. You could require root canal therapy if you experience discomfort deep inside your tooth. Your jaw, face, or other teeth could experience discomfort as well.

2. Sensitivity to cold and heat

You may need a root canal if you have pain when drinking hot coffee or eating ice cream. This is particularly true if the pain lasts for a long time.

3. Swollen gums

Pus can build up around an infected tooth causing the gums to become swollen, puffy, or sensitive.

4. Boil or pimple on the gums

These conditions can occur, indicating your tooth could need a root canal. An unpleasant taste or odor in your mouth may result from pus from the infected tooth draining from the pimple.

5. Jaw enlargement or swelling

Sometimes, pus may clog the jaw area due to infected tooth pulp. This may cause your jaw to bulge.

6. Discoloration of the teeth

When a tooth's pulp becomes infected, your tooth may appear darker. This happens as a result of the tooth's inadequate blood supply.

7. When pressure application causes pain

When you eat or touch your tooth, you could experience discomfort. This could indicate that the nerves surrounding the pulp are injured.

8. Broken or Chipped tooth

Bacteria can enter the tooth pulp if you have a chipped or broken tooth from an accident, physical activity, or even from biting down on something hard.

9. Loose tooth

A loose tooth may feel more so if it is infected. This is because the bone supporting the tooth can become softer due to the pus from the affected pulp.

How a Root Canal is Performed

A root canal procedure is a non-intensive surgical procedure that is normally conducted in a dental office. A specialist will typically guide you to your chair when you show up for the appointment. They will then typically go through the steps of the procedure, and ask if you have any questions. It’s never a bad idea to ask your dentist about any questions that you might have prior to your appointment.

Advantages of a Root Canal Procedure

A root canal has several advantages. This procedure can:

  • Stop the spread of the infection to other teeth.
  • Reduce the symptoms of a tooth infection.
  • Lessen the possibility of jawbone injury.
  • Make it unnecessary to require a tooth extraction.

Risks Involved

A root canal is performed in an attempt to save your tooth. However, the method cannot always be used because the damage may be too severe or the enamel may be too weak. These elements can often result in tooth loss.

Consult your dentist about an extraction if you're worried about getting a root canal. They will be able to guide you in the right direction and do what’s best for your particular case.


It can be unsettling to have jaw swelling or toothache. Thankfully, root canal treatment can eliminate your discomfort at its source, allowing you to have a full recovery.

Call your dentist as soon as you think you may have an infected tooth. Immediate attention can stop an infection from spreading and reduce pain, allowing you to resume your daily activities and smile with confidence.


713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401

Office Hours

MON 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

TUE Closed

WED - THU 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

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Phone: (573) 368-7325


1116 S. Main Street, Salem MO 65560

Office Hours

MON Closed

TUE 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

WED - THU Closed

FRI 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch


Phone: (573) 729-7701