Do I need to have a root canal done?


I’m not sure if I need to have a root canal yet or not? I am having pain in my right side when I eat or drink something cold. If I put something warm on it, that helps the pain. But, shortly after that, the pain returns. At first I thought the pain was due to how much gum I was chewing but I’m not sure if that’s really the problem. Any insight you have would be appreciated.


-Allen from Washington


If you are having reoccurring pain after something cold, then it is likely an indication that you need a root canal.

If a tooth is sensitive to temperature only when the cold item is on the tooth, a root canal treatment may not be required. But if the pain is lingering than it sounds more like a root canal is needed.

It can be confusing if the pain goes away after a couple of weeks. This happens often where a patient thinks the tooth is getting better. But with a tooth infection the inside tissue actually dies which means you don’t feel anything any more. But treatment for the infection is still required.

I hope this information answers your question.

This post is sponsored by Lafayette dentist Theriot Family Dental Care.

Related links: sleep dentistry

Have you heard of pulpotomy?

I was wondering if you could tell me what a pulpotomy is in regard to dental care for children?

– Sam in Washington


When a child has an infection in a baby tooth, a pulpotomy can take care of it. What happens is that most of the pulp is removed from the baby tooth all the way down to the tooth root. Then a disinfectant is used on the tissue inside the root. The final step used is a sealant that is applied, then covered with a crown.

Essentially, it would be considered a root canal treatment for baby teeth. Although, it is a more temporary fix than a true root canal procedure. This type of treatment would typically be done for a child’s molars. This is because the molars need to stay in place until the permanent teeth are ready to come in. If the molars were removed then space becomes an issue and there could be crowding when the permanent teeth erupt.

Space maintainers can also be used when a child’s tooth is infected. The molar is extracted and the space maintainer holds its spot.

This post is sponsored by Lafayette dentist Theriot Family Dental Care.

Links: pediatric dentist, dental tips for parents