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Understanding Root Canals: When to Seek Treatment

Root canals are a common dental procedure aimed at saving a tooth that is severely infected or damaged. At Oxford Dental, we believe in providing comprehensive information to help you make informed decisions about your oral health. This blog will explore key aspects of root canals, including signs that you might need one, the causes, and aftercare. If you suspect you might need a root canal, don't hesitate to contact us to schedule a reserved time or learn more.

What is a Root Canal?

Dentists use root canal treatment to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

Symptoms Indicating You Might Need a Root Canal

Recognizing the symptoms of a root canal infection early can save your tooth and prevent further complications. Here are some signs that you may need a root canal:

  • Severe toothache pain upon chewing or applying pressure

  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures

  • Discoloration of the tooth

  • Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums

  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

Causes of Infections

Understanding what causes a root canal infection can help you take preventive measures. Common causes include:

  • Deep decay due to an untreated cavity

  • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth

  • Large fillings

  • A crack or chip in the tooth

  • Trauma to the face

Why is a Root Canal Necessary?

A root canal is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. This can be due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures, or a crack in the tooth. Left untreated, an infection can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

What Does a Root Canal Look Like?

A root canal involves several steps, typically performed over one or two office visits:

  1. X-rays: Dentists use X-rays to check the shape of root canals and look for signs of infection in the bone.

  2. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area near the tooth.

  3. Pulpectomy: An opening is made, and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.

  4. Filling: The roots that have been opened are filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with cement.

After Root Canal Care

Post-treatment care is crucial for the success of a root canal. Here are some tips for after root canal treatment:

  • Pain Management: It's normal to experience some discomfort for a few days after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help.

  • Oral Hygiene: Continue to brush and floss regularly, and avoid chewing on the treated tooth until it is fully restored by your dentist.

  • Follow-up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to ensure the tooth is healing properly.

Root Canal Myths and Facts

  • Myth: Root canals are extremely painful. Fact: Modern root canal treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed.

  • Myth: It's better to pull a tooth than have a root canal. Fact: Saving your natural tooth is always the best option when possible. Root canals have a high success rate and can last a lifetime with proper care.

Contact Oxford Dental

If you're experiencing symptoms that indicate you might need a root canal, it's essential to seek professional help promptly. Delaying treatment can result in further damage and potentially lead to tooth loss. At Oxford Dental, our experienced team is here to provide you with the highest standard of care.

Call to Action

Don't ignore the signs of a root canal infection. Contact Oxford Dental today to schedule a reserved time for your consultation or to learn more about our services. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your comfort and providing the best possible outcomes for your dental health.


Understanding the importance of root canal treatment can help alleviate fears and encourage timely treatment. Remember, the goal of a root canal is to save your tooth and restore your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, Oxford Dental is here to help. Schedule your appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier, pain-free smile.

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