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What are the signs that you need a root canal?



Junior member
Apr 7, 2010
Could some of those signs be indicative of something else instead?

Urm abscess? swelling / pain?
I don't have any of those - why do you think my dentist wants to do a root canal?? I do have some pain (for a second) when I bite on a crown, but that is it. I think he doesn't know what else to do, so he figures that if he does a root canal, I won't have any pain on the crown - not because it is fixed, but because he permanently "numbed" it by RCT.

Could it be anything else?

(Thanks for the reply)
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Another sign is deep toothache which wakes you up. When you lie down you increase the blood supply to the teeth's nerves.
Don't have that either. Could pain when biting on a crown signal another problem? (The dentist has lowered the crown about half a dozen times...)
Have you asked your dentist why he thinks that you need a root canal? My dentist showed me my x-ray and explained why he recommended a root canal to me. If you're not getting information from your dentist, could you get a second opinion?
I did. He said that because I am having pain there, I need a RCT. When I told him that the x-ray he took recently showed the root to be healthy and that the pain was just for a second on biting down, he looked confused. (He had told me before that if the pain was throbbing and ongoing, it was a clear sign that the root had died/was dying.) I am wondering if he just doesn't know what to do... I could get a second opinion, but this guy is a friend of ours (kinda) and it would be awkward to go back to him afterward. But, why should I suffer because I don't want him to feel bad??
Hi Porty -

I agree with you.

Even though he is "kinda" a friend, you can't let that get in the way of YOUR healthy mouth. A second opinion won't hurt, and might even help. You might get his opinion verified, or find that you don't need a root canal at all.

Either way YOU can't go wrong by getting a second opinion . . . if he is a professional dentist, he really shouldn't be offended or hurt by your getting a second opinion.

Just my thoughts, but I hope they help . . .
Porty, I very much agree with Bumpthumper. Last year when I was seeking out a doctor to aid me in combatting my TMJ, one of the people my dentist recommended I see was a personal friend of his, a dentist who specialized in TMJ related pain. Suffice it to say (long story short) this doctor was not in my best interest to see at all. He actually did me both physical and somewhat emotional harm. Long story short, I felt ambivilant about facing my dentist, explaining to him why I had chosen to seek help elsewhere. I had come (still do :) ) to think so highly of him that the last thing I wanted to do was "further impose" on his time let alone possibly insult his friend. That's where the mind can be your worst enemy at times. Logically, I knew my dentist would not think less of me, wash his hands of me, or get angry at my choice, but that doesn't mean I didn't entertain those thoughts. I did. My dentist went on to recommend a second private doctor, who from the getgo was the opposite both in manner and practice of the other guy.

Certainly in your case, a second opinion is just that. If anything, your dentist should think MORE of you for having the courage and desire for wanting to be positive of your choice since apparently he did not provide complete peace of mind for you. Who you see is completely up to you and should be a doctor you believe has your best interests at heart.

Hug and best to you.

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Thank you both for your replies.

Just as an aside, my husband once went to an optometrist that was a friend of his. The woman who worked there was rude and nasty to the customers, so my husband stopped going to him. A couple of months later he met the optometrist and finally decided to say something (my husband could sell ice to Eskimos!!). The optometrist was very grateful and said that he had been wondering why he wasn't doing well in that location. He fired the woman and business picked up. If someone is genuinely interested in the best interests of their patients/clients, they will welcome feedback.

I am so tired of this whole thing that I just want to forget about it for a while. I appreciate the support and encouragement. Thank you.