Are you experiencing dental sensitivity? While it’s easy to blow off temperature sensitivity and pain, chances are that there is a more serious issue at hand. Conditions like dental emergencies and deep cavities can compromise the tissue within the tooth, causing it to become infected. In some instances treatment needs to be performed immediately to help prevent further damage.
At Whidbey Dental Associates, we use the latest technology to remove the infection. With comprehensive root canal therapy and restoration, we’re able to protect your tooth and restore the look of your smile.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is an endodontic treatment used to save infected teeth. Infection occurs when cavities or cracks create an opening for bacteria to enter and infect the inner pulp chamber. If left untreated, the infection can spread beyond the inner tooth chamber and into the root canals. This leaves the surrounding teeth, gums, and bone vulnerable to infection and damage.
During the root canal procedure, a small access point is made behind the compromised tooth and specialized instruments are used to remove infected tissue and sterilize the pulp cavity. Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, a biocompatible material is placed within the tooth and the access point is filled with composite resin. After about a week, patients can return to have the tooth covered with a porcelain crown. Not only does this improve the overall look of the smile, but it also reinforces the vulnerable tooth and helps prevent reinfection.
Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
When it comes to tooth infection, getting prompt care as soon as possible is critical to protecting your overall health. Preventive dental care and regular cleanings by our Oak Harbor dentists are among the best ways of preventing cavities or cracks from reaching a point where root canal therapy is necessary.
Unfortunately, missed cleanings, poor or inconsistent oral hygiene, as well as ignoring the symptoms often allows the cavity to progress to the point where root canal therapy is needed. Some signs to watch out for include sensitivity to extreme temperatures, pain when chewing or biting, persistent toothache, swelling, or discoloration. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we strongly urge you to make an appointment at Whidbey Dental Associates. Proactive root canal therapy can help save your tooth and eliminate the need for extraction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do root canals hurt?
Root canal therapy has a terrible reputation for being extremely painful. However, at Whidbey Dental Associates, they’re no more painful than your typical filling.
While the sensations might be uncomfortable, the pain is non-existent thanks to our local anesthetic. Additionally, not receiving treatment for your infection if far more painful than the actual treatment itself.
Should my tooth hurt a week after the procedure?
Typically, a tooth that’s been restored with root canal therapy should only experience some discomfort within the first few days following. This is normal and it can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications.
If your tooth still hurts a week later, there may be a complication and you should call our office at (360) 675-6404 so our team can examine your tooth.
What is root canal retreatment?
Root canal retreatment is a second treatment for your tooth that just received root canal therapy. This may occur if the infection wasn’t completely cleaned out due to the canal of a tooth can be complex.
If you need root canal retreatment, the procedure will be very similar to the first one. We’ll use comprehensive scans to map your root structure prior to the procedure so there is no need for retreatment again.
What is a hot tooth?
A hot tooth is a severely infected tooth that’s sensitive and doesn’t respond well to local anesthesia. Sometimes, a hot tooth is difficult to treat because of the pain.
Our team of doctors will always put your safety and comfort first and we’ll work with you to find a solution for your infected tooth. Though it isn’t known why some teeth become infected this way, we use advanced technology and unique strategies to care for them.
How can you tell if a tooth is dead?
You can start to tell if a tooth is dead when it begins changing color. Generally, the tooth has been cut off from the blood supply, so it can start to turn brown, grey, or black.
You’ll most likely begin feeling severe pain where the tooth is, so if you notice these symptoms it’s important to contact our office at (360) 675-6404 so we can save it.
How long does root canal therapy take?
Most root canal therapy procedures take approximately 90 minutes to complete. However, there are some cases where you may need more than one appointment to clear out the infection if it’s more severe or if you have a complicated root structure.
If you do need two appointments, our first priority is to relieve your pain. We’ll ensure the tooth is properly protected until your next appointment. At your second appointment, we’ll thoroughly clean the tooth, then place a more permanent, protective restoration.
Save Your Smile Today – Visit Whidbey Dental Associates
At Whidbey Dental Associates, we aim to treat infected and damaged teeth before more extensive procedures are needed. If you’re experiencing any dental sensitivity or persistent toothaches, call our Oak Harbor dentists today to determine whether you need root canal therapy.