Root Canal Therapy
When you hear the words “root canal,” what is your response? If you’re like most patients, you probably don’t have positive associations with this treatment. Fortunately for patients of Steve Schwan, DDS and his Redmond dentistry team, root canal therapy actually relieves pain and saves a tooth that may otherwise need to be extracted. If you want to learn more about root canals, call our Redmond dental office to schedule a treatment consultation. We treat many patients in need of a root canal on an emergency basis, so if you believe you may need a root canal, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
Root canals are procedures recommended for patients who have tooth decay or damage that reaches the inner layer of their tooth. There are three layers of tooth structure. The outer layer is made up of hard enamel that protects the interior tooth structures. The second layer is the dentin. This yellow-colored tooth structure provides shape and support for your tooth. Finally, there is the inner pulp layer. Inside this layer of soft tooth structure, the entire nerve system of the tooth is housed. When tooth decay or damage reaches this layer of the tooth, the result is the severe toothache and dental sensitivity that earned root canals their bad reputation. You should let us know right away if you notice any of the common warning signs that you need a root canal, including:
- Severe toothache that may present as sharp pain when biting down or a dull, constant throb
- Sensitivity when the tooth is expose to hot or cold temperatures
- Discoloration of the tooth, usually at the gum line
- Swelling, inflammation, or infection in the gums around one tooth
How are Root Canals Performed?
Root canals are a relatively simple, minimally invasive treatment. We begin by numbing the area around your damaged tooth to immediately relieve pain. Then, we drill a hole from the top of the tooth to the inner layer. Next, we carefully remove the pulp, nerve, and damaged dental structures. In some cases, we may need to apply oral and or topical antibiotics before we continue treatment. Once we’re sure your smile is completely free from infection, we’ll refill the tooth. Then, the access hole is sealed, and in most cases, we also place a dental crown. The crown protects and strengthens the root canal treated tooth.
What Happens After Root Canal Therapy?
Following root canal therapy, most patients feel much better. Almost immediately, the dental sensitivity and toothache are gone. However, you may notice some mild discomfort or swelling around the treated tooth. If you continue to experience severe toothache or dental sensitivity or your pain increases, call our team right away.
Are Root Canals Safe?
Some patients do a little too much online research and find horror stories about failed root canal therapies. When performed by a trained professional, root canals have a 97% success rate. This treatment is a perfectly safe method of repairing damaged teeth to full function.