A tooth infection can be excruciating. If your tooth aches when you eat or feels sensitive to temperature variations, it could be infected. Tooth infections do not heal themselves; they need to be treated with a root canal.
At Marine Hills Dentistry in Federal Way, Washington, we will perform root canals to save your impaired tooth and prevent its extraction. After curing the infection, we will place a customized crown over the treated tooth to reinstate its natural appearance and strength.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure that cures the diseased or infected pulp of the tooth. The pulp is the tooth's soft tissue that contains connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to the tooth. If the pulp becomes infected due to decay, trauma, or other reasons, the patient will experience severe pain that needs to be addressed quickly. Once the pulp has become infected, the whole tooth needs to be meticulously cleaned and disinfected. If left untreated, it can cause an abscess on the tip of the tooth's root.
Symptoms of Root Canal Infections
You may experience one or more of these symptoms:
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Tooth sensitivity from hot and cold foods and drinks
- Pain that lingers or throbs for hours
- Tooth discoloration
- A foul taste in your mouth
- General oral numbness
- Swelling to the face or jaw
- Red, yellow or white sores visible on the gum
- Bleeding gums
Root Canal Procedure
Root canal treatments may need several appointments, depending on the severity of the infection. Dr. Dennis Hahn will first numb the affected region by administering local anesthesia. Then a small opening is drilled on the tooth's surface to reach the infected pulp. Next special tools are used to remove the dead pulp and decay. A medicated paste is applied to disinfect the area, and the opening is sealed off with a temporary filling.
During the subsequent appointment, the temporary filling is removed. The opening is cleaned again and packed with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material to prevent bacteria from re-entering the tooth. Finally, the space is covered with a permanent filling to ensure that the tooth can function normally again.
If you need a dental crown for added protection and support, it can also be done in the same appointment. We will capture impressions of the tooth and send them to a dental lab for fabrication. We will ensure the new crown matches your existing teeth and blends in with your smile.
To learn more about our root canal treatments, visit our office, Marine Hills Dentistry, at 1500 S Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA 98003. You can also reach us at (253) 839-2800.