What Causes the Need for Root Canal Therapy?

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what causes the need for root canal therapy

A root canal is a restorative dental practice that many people are familiar with, even if they haven’t received one. Why? Because it’s a procedure that a lot of patients are fearful of, mainly because they assume that it will be painful. This is untrue. Furthermore, dentists in North York don’t just go around telling patients they need a root canal; rather, it is recommended to help save their natural tooth. 

If you’ve been told you require this procedure, we encourage you to reach out to a dentist near you. They can address all your questions and walk you through the process to help you feel more at ease about coming in. 

What is Root Canal Therapy? 

Endodontic therapy, or a root canal, involves drilling a hole into an infected or damaged tooth to extract the unhealthy mass that resides at its center. This mass, called the pulp, helps keep your tooth alive and functioning. Connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves all meet here. When it suffers harm, the pulp will start to decay, leading to severe oral pain and sensitivity. 

Root canal therapy in North York is a standard procedure and is safe for patients of all ages. It can be done in a single appointment though most patients return for a second visit to have a dental crown added over the treated tooth. This structure helps protect the tooth from additional damage and reinforces its structure; you’ll be able to bite and chew without issue. 

Local anesthesia is provided to numb the target area. You may feel minimal sensations but no pain. However, if you require further care to relax while your dentist works, talk to them about sedation dental options. 

Reasons for Root Canal Therapy 

A number of things may evoke the need for a root canal. Some of the primary reasons your North York dentist may advise this particular course of action include, but are not limited to, the following: 


Tooth decay forms due to a build-up of plaque, bacteria, and other debris. When your teeth aren’t properly cleaned and flossed, these particles will accumulate and eventually begin to eat away at the structure of your tooth. If this goes unaddressed for an extended period, the decay can reach your pulp and the root of your tooth. By this point, a simple dental filling is not enough to remedy the problem. 

Swollen Gums 

The swelling of gum tissue is a clear sign that your smile may be unhealthy. This typically arises due to the acid emitted from damaged or dead pulp tissue. Swelling may be accompanied by red and irritated/inflamed gums, too. 

Pain in Your Tooth While Eating

Tooth sensitivity is not necessarily a problem; we all experience this from time to time when we eat sweet things like chocolate or candy. But, if this sensation is especially sharp and continues to persist, it may mean you need root canal therapy. The ligaments surrounding the tip of your teeth are very sensitive, even more so when damaged. The pressure exerted when eating can irritate the ligament, leading to sensitivity. 

Crack in Your Tooth

Cracked teeth can result from bruxism or getting hit in the mouth while playing sports. Whatever the case, tooth fractures should be treated promptly; otherwise, the damage can grow, namely when you eat. Eventually, the crack can reach the center of your tooth and end up harming the pulp sac and the pulp inside. 

Issues with a Crown

A dental crown is a great way to protect a weakened or broken tooth while maintaining the beauty and functionality of your smile. But if that crown suffers damage itself or decay forms underneath the crown, a root canal may be needed. If your crown was provided as part of an earlier root canal, then a second treatment might not be able to save the tooth once again. Your dentist will closely examine your tooth with x-rays to determine the best path forward. 

Issues From a Previous Filling  

Like a broken dental crown, if decay or an infection forms underneath a pre-existing filling, root canal therapy can be needed to prevent the decay from spreading to other teeth. This may be a possibility if the original filling wasn’t installed properly, or you’ve experienced some form of oral trauma.

Contact Lilac Family Dentistry Today

Our local dental clinic provides reliable root canal therapy near you. Our trustworthy, skilled staff looks forward to welcoming you and joining your unique dental journey. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone is a suitable candidate for this type of restorative dentistry; you’ll need to have your smile carefully evaluated beforehand. 

To contact one of our dentists, you can call us, send an email through our website, or come into our clinic and speak to a team member in person. We anticipate your visit very much and hope to see you soon!