Root Canal Therapy

root canalShoreline, Edmonds, and Seattle, WA

Maybe you have heard the name, root canal, but what is it exactly?

A root canal is essentially a deep filling in which we remove the decayed pulp (nerve) from inside a tooth, in efforts to save the tooth from extraction.

The nerve inside a tooth can become infected or decayed for various reasons including:

  • Extensive tooth decay
  • Severely broken or cracked teeth
  • Trauma to a tooth

What is a root canal procedure?

You are numb during the entire procedure so that you will not feel pain. The dentist uses special instruments to clean out the inside of the tooth, careful to remove all infected tissue. Once the decayed or infected nerve has been removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, the tooth’s chamber is filled with a permanent filling material that helps strengthen the tooth’s root.

What can I expect after my root canal?

We do our best to minimize your pain, but some patients may experience sensitivity afterwards. Any discomfort should subside quickly. Following a root canal, the top portion of the tooth becomes very brittle and susceptible to breaking or cracking, which is why a dental crown is necessary to add strength for chewing and biting. Once complete, you will never be able to tell you have had a root canal or a dental crown.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

A dentist is the only one that can tell if you need a root canal for sure. During your visit, the dentist will examine your problem tooth, and an X-ray may need to be taken to confirm an infection since infection is often present at the tip of the tooth’s root. However, there are common symptoms that patients experience when a tooth is infected.

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, a root canal may be in your future:

  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Pain or sensitivity to extreme temperatures (specifically cold)
  • Visible signs of an infection of the gum area (pimple-like abscess)
  • Severe pain that does not subside with over-the-counter medication
  • Tenderness or swelling of the gums
  • Darkened tooth

You should contact us at the first sign of symptoms. Ignoring an infection can lead to more serious health concerns or even life-threatening conditions.

To schedule your next visit, contact us at Hoag and Dotsch today! We welcome patients of Shoreline, Edmonds, and Seattle, Washington.