There can be times when it is quite obvious that a tooth in your mouth needs a root canal, but there are other times when the signs are not quite as apparent. If you need a root canal, you may or may not feel pain near this tooth, but your dentist can look for signs that will help him or her determine if this procedure is necessary. Here are some of the methods your dentist will use to determine if your tooth needs a root canal procedure.

Talk to You About the Symptoms You Are Having

If your dentist notices anything unusual about a tooth, or if you are complaining of pain or extreme sensitivity, the dentist might talk to you about the symptoms you are experiencing with this tooth. You might not have any symptoms at all with it, or you might feel pain or pressure with the tooth. If you have extreme pain or feel extreme sensitivity with the tooth, these signs can indicate that a tooth needs a root canal.

A tooth will need a root canal procedure when there is an infection in the roots of the tooth. An infection can form when bacteria gets into a tooth and makes its way into the canals of the tooth. The canals of a tooth contain nerves and other things, and these nerves will typically alert you when there is a problem. This is why most people will experience some level of pain when they have a tooth that needs a root canal. This is also why people typically experience sensitivity with a tooth when the tooth needs a root canal.

Your dentist will also look closely at the tooth to see if there are any obvious signs of problems. For example, if the tooth is cracked, this can be a sign that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. As the dentist examines the tooth, he or she will also look for other signs such as darkness on a tooth, drainage, or differences with the tissue near the tooth.

Take X-Rays of the Tooth

If your dentist feels that there is a good chance that you will need a root canal, he or she will take x-rays of the tooth. An x-ray not only shows the tooth itself, but it also shows the canals leading up from the tooth and the jawbone by the tooth. A dentist will closely examine the x-rays to see if there are obvious signs of problems with the canals. In most cases, a dentist can spot an infection on an x-ray by looking for dark colors inside the canals of a tooth. If the dentist sees this, it will mean that you will need a root canal procedure on the tooth.

Perform Other Tests

There are several other types of tests dentists use to determine if a tooth needs a root canal. One of these is called a percussion test. This test involves the dentist tapping a small dental mirror on the tooth to see how sensitive the tooth feels to you. The dentist will tap on other teeth as well so that you can compare the way the tooth in question feels to how other teeth in your mouth feel.

A second test that dentists use for this purpose is a cold test. This often involves placing a cotton swab in your mouth that has been sprayed with frozen carbon dioxide. The dentist will place this along the gum line of the tooth to see how you respond to it. If it hurts a lot, it typically means that you will need a root canal on the tooth.

If you are having problems with a tooth in your mouth, you should visit a dentist. Dentists can diagnose and treat all types of oral problems, and you can schedule a visit by contacting a clinic today.