Endodontics: Do I Need a Root Canal if I Have No Dental Pain?

Teeth have a core, known as the pulp chamber, where the nerve and blood vessels are located. When the pulp is altered, it becomes inflamed or infected.

Dental pulp trauma or bacterial infection from cavities may not be painful. When a tooth is physically damaged by trauma, it can be free of symptoms after a few days or remain this way for a long period of time. Lack of pain usually indicates death of the nerve. This is called pulpal necrosis. It is imperative to treat this condition with a root canal.

Other conditions could lead to endodontic treatments. It is the dentist’s responsibility to preserve tooth vitality when possible.


When there is pulpal necrosis or another type of lesion, anomalies such as cysts can form around the roots of teeth, inside the bone and can only be diagnosed with x-rays.

Abscesses, cysts, granulomas, osteomyelitis and other infections can affect the surrounding bone and soft tissues, and some of them can even spread to important structures putting the patient’s life at risk. Trauma affects tooth vitality and can also cause internal/external root loss.

What is a Root Canal?

Contrary to popular belief, endodontic treatment is typically pain free because local anesthesia is used and also because when the pulp is necrotic/dead, it cannot generate nerve impulses to trigger pain.

  • Access: Access through the crown is created to eliminate pulp tissue in the tooth’s core.
  • Debridement: Canals inside the roots are also cleaned and its walls filed and flared to eliminate bacteria.
  • Obturation: The new empty space is filled with a plastic, rubber-like material and a sealer, afterwards a filling or a crown is placed on top.

It is very important not to postpone a root canal treatment. If you are interested in root canal treatments in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help me find a Dentist!” form and a participating dental specialist will contact you to discuss your case.

Root Canal Treatment