Does it have to be a root canal?


Iro

Joined
Aug 2, 2020
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I have a molar that doesn't hurt. The gum on one side of it is sore. At the last general visit the dentist said the (old amalgam) filling has to go and - if when he opens it he sees it needs a root canal, he'll do that. X-ray is fine. He tested the tooth with cold (nitrogen?) and it was painful.
Could it NOT need a root canal? Could the pain be because of another issue, like my gums (I have some problematic areas), not pulp infection? How does a dentist know if it's infected?
Thank you.
 
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Dr M

Verified Dentist
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
353
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Good day

It is difficult to give an exact opinion without an x-ray, but it can be possible that the issue is gum related and not related to the tooth itself. If the area is prone to food impaction, it can cause a chronic irritation of the gum in this area, resulting in pain, or if the old filling is chipped or rough, below the gum line, this could also cause this irritation.
It is normal for the tooth to feel pain with a cold or heat stimulus. The key is that the pain should go away as the stimulus is removed, and should not linger for longer that 10-15 seconds.
Do you perhaps have any photos or x-rays of the relevant tooth/region?
 
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Iro

Joined
Aug 2, 2020
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Thank you very much for your answer. I don't have any photo or x-ray that I can post here. They stay at the dentist. I'll ask if I can have copies. My feeling of pain stayed longer with that tooth than the others that were checked. I like the dentist but he is young and I just started going to him, so I want to do my homework before agreeing on significant procedures.
 

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