Is a Root Canal a Dental Emergency?

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Did you know that more than 15 million Americans undergo root canals every year? This dental procedure is very popular as it helps repair natural teeth from damage, prevents teeth loss, and eliminates the need for more extensive treatments in the future.

Below we explain root canals and share details of how qualified dentists from All Day Smile can perform the treatment on you.

What Is a Root Canal and Is It a Dental Emergency?

Before we define a root canal, we’ll first explain what a dental emergency is. A dental emergency is any dental health condition that causes severe pain, discomfort, or oral bleeding, and cannot be treated on your own.

On the other hand, a root canal is a dental procedure involving removing an infected or inflamed tooth pulp. Root canal infection occurs when bacteria living in the mouth invade the tooth. For example, this can happen where your fillings are leaking or your teeth are damaged due to injury.

As a result, your teeth’ nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues are affected, resulting in tooth loss and widespread infection. These reasons make a root canal a dental emergency.

What Are the Signs to Look Out for in a Root Canal Infection?

Common Symptoms of a root canal infection include:

  • Prolonged and painful toothache
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
  • Loose and damaged teeth
  • Teeth discoloration
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gum and facial swelling
  • Pus from the affected tooth
  • Fever

Once you observe the above symptoms, it’s important to seek emergency dental care from a trained endodontic specialist.

How Is Root Canal Treatment Done?

Root canal treatment, also referred to as endodontic treatment, involves cleaning out parts of the damaged tooth.

  • To start, endodontic specialists use an x-ray to examine your tooth and determine the extent of the infection.
  • Next, they clean your mouth and inject anesthesia into the tooth’s nerve to make the procedure painless.
  • They then create a small hole in the tooth’s surface to extract infected tissues within the pulp chamber and the root canal.
  • Once this is done, the dentists disinfect the tooth, widen the root canal, straighten the pulp chamber and prepare it for filling. The opening is then filled with “gutta-percha,” a rubber-like substance that replaces the pulp and strengthens the tooth.

After the procedure, there are a few guidelines to be observed for a speedy and painless recovery. They include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day using a bristle toothbrush
  • Avoiding eating too much sugary food
  • Refraining from smoking or vaping

It would also help to take over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen to relieve any discomfort. However, return to your dentist if pain and swelling persist even after using painkillers.

Contact Experienced Dentists from the All Day Smile

Are you planning to undergo a root canal treatment? If yes, contact experienced dentists from the All Day Smile for a thorough and painless procedure. We have performed countless root canals with a high success rate and will help you improve your teeth’ function, prevent further damage to the affected or surrounding teeth, and restore your comfort. Call us at (714) 821-7645 today to book an appointment.

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Photos courtesy of Sharon Suh