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, our Oak Harbor dentists 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 bones 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 allow the cavity to progress to 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’re 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.