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How do I know if I need a root canal?

Is the pulp (soft tissue inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue) inflamed or diseased? If so, you may need a root canal to save the tooth.

A root canal removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. 
You may need a root canal if you have a severe toothache, usually along with swelling in your jaw around your tooth. When the pulp (the soft tissue inside the roots and center of a tooth) is damaged from a cracked tooth or other injury, or from a deep cavity, it can get infected. This can cause pain, swelling, and even an abscess in the bone around the tooth. To treat the damage, your dentist can do a root canal to remove the pulp from the tooth's roots and pulp chamber, treat any infection, and fill the tooth. You will then need a crown over the repaired tooth.

Continue Learning about Root Canal Therapy

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.