Is a Root Canal What You Need?


In the world of dentistry, few procedures seem to elicit a fearful response from patients more than a root canal. Even though most people don’t fully understand what a root canal means, popular media has put this idea in people’s heads that a root canal is the worst, most painful procedure that a person could possibly have done. While we won’t claim that root canals are comfortable, they do provide relief from painful symptoms. Here at Bitterroot Dental, we want all of our Missoula neighbors to be as well informed about our procedures as possible and, in today’s post, we are going to go over root canals and some of the symptoms that may indicate that a person needs to have this procedure done. Keep reading below to learn more.

What is a Root Canal Exactly?


Root canals become necessary when a tooth becomes infected or shows signs of major decay. During this dental procedure, the dentist drills into the infected tooth in order to gain access to the root of the tooth and the surrounding dental pulp. The nerve and pulp are then removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed in order to prevent future infection. Below, we have listed a few of the symptoms that indicate a root canal may be necessary.



  • Tooth Pain: If you have a tooth that just won’t stop hurting, it could be an indication that the root has become infected and that you need a root canal. As the tooth becomes infected, even the slightest pressure can be extremely painful. Often times, people will ignore tooth pain thinking that, over time, it will go away and take care of itself. Unfortunately, if the pain is caused because of an infection inside of the tooth, the only way to find relief is to have a root canal performed.
  • Gum Discoloration: If you have noticed that your gums are discolored around the base of a tooth, it could be an indication of infection. As the dental pulp and root become infected, the infection can leak into the gums area surrounded the afflicted tooth. If left untreated, the gum could become compromised, causing the infected tooth to become loose and, in some cases, can cause the tooth to fall out altogether.
  • Tooth Discoloration: Although rare, in some cases of an infected tooth, the tooth itself will start to become discolored. If your tooth has gotten to this point, you definitely need to come see us at Bitterroot Dental. If left untreated, the tooth could die, requiring an extraction and an additional procedure to replace the missing tooth.


If you are worried that you may be suffering from symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal, please contact us today at Bitterroot Dental by giving us a call at (406)-203-9924 or by filling out our contact form. We will help you identify whatever is going wrong with your tooth and come up with a treatment plan that will help you find relief from any discomfort you may be experiencing.