Root Canal Treatment
At Causeway Dentistry, we provide services that enable our patients to keep their teeth healthy and intact for as long as possible. If an infection develops deep inside a tooth, the only way to relieve your pain and save your tooth is with root canal (endodontic) treatment. The only other option is to remove the tooth, which is never our first choice.
How a Root Canal Infection Starts
A tooth consists of several layers; enamel is the hard outer layer, dentin is the softer layer beneath enamel, and the pulp cavity is located at the center of your tooth. Pulp tissue contains all the blood vessels, nerves, and tissue that keep your tooth healthy.
While dental pulp is usually well-protected, bacteria can find their way in through a large filling, a crack in the tooth, a deep cavity, or dental trauma. When this happens, an infection develops, and the result is usually an excruciating toothache.
Symptoms of an Infected Tooth
There’s a wide range of symptoms you might experience when you have a tooth infection:
- Excruciating tooth pain
- Red or swollen gums
- Jaw pain or swelling
- Extreme sensitivity to touch or hot and cold
- A bump or “pimple” on your gums
- A bad taste or odor in your mouth
If you currently experience any of these root canal symptoms, please call Causeway Dentistry. We offer same-day emergency dentistry and will see you as soon as possible to relieve your pain and provide treatment.
What Happens During a Root Canal
Dr. Santos wants you to know that root canal treatment is not painful; it is the infection in your tooth that’s causing the pain. Removing the infection removes the source of your pain, making a root canal a pain-relieving, tooth-saving procedure.
Before we start your procedure, we will numb the tooth we're treating. This will instantly relieve any pain you’re experiencing and ensure that you don’t feel anything during your procedure. We also offer nitrous oxide or laughing gas to help soothe any anxious feelings.
When the tooth is completely numb, Dr. Santos accesses the infected pulp and removes it using specialized dental instruments. He fills the hollowed-out space then seals the tooth with a temporary filling.
After Root Canal Treatment
After the numbness wears off and in a day or two following your root canal procedure, you may experience some soreness but no pain. Taking an OTC pain reliever like ibuprofen or Advil should be all you need to stay comfortable.
About two weeks after root canal treatment, you will return to our Clearwater dental office, and Dr. Santos will either place a final filling or a dental crown on the tooth. Which he uses depends on the tooth he's treating, and he will recommend the one that’s right for your needs.
Referral to a Specialist
In more complex or involved cases, Dr. Santos may refer you to a root canal specialist called an endodontist. This ensures that you have access to the level of endodontic care you need to resolve your issue and protect your oral health.
After your procedure, you will return to Causeway Dentistry to have your crown or filling expertly placed.
Do You Need an Emergency Root Canal?
If you are currently experiencing a toothache and think you have an infected tooth, please call our Clearwater, FL dental office, and we will arrange to see you promptly.