A Northwest Dental

OR CALL (206) 317-4934

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. This treatment involves removing the damaged pulp (soft tissue) from the tooth’s interior and replacing it with a filling material.

Why is root canal treatment necessary?

A root canal is necessary when the soft tissue inside a tooth, known as the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected. This can happen due to several reasons, including:

  • Deep decay or a cavity
  • Trauma to the tooth
  • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • Gum disease

If left untreated, an infected or inflamed pulp can cause pain, swelling, and even tooth loss. In some cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause more serious health issues.

What does the root canal treatment involve?

Root canal treatment is a complex procedure that usually requires multiple visits to the dentist. Here’s what you can expect during the process:

  1. Assessment and X-rays: Your dentist will first examine your tooth and take X-rays to determine the extent of the damage.
  2. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia will be used to numb the area around the tooth.
  3. Access to the pulp: Your dentist will create an opening in the tooth’s crown to access the infected pulp.
  4. Removal of the pulp: Your dentist will remove the infected pulp using special delicate instruments.
  5. Cleaning and shaping: Your dentist will clean and shape the root canals to prepare them for filling.
  6. Filling the canals: Your dentist will fill the root canals with a biocompatible material and seal them with dental cement.
  7. Temporary filling: A temporary filling will be placed in the opening in the crown to protect the tooth until the final restoration is placed.
  8. Placement of a permanent restoration: Your dentist will place a permanent filling or crown over the tooth to restore its function and protect it from further damage.

What are the benefits of root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment has several benefits, including:

  • Pain relief: Root canal treatment can alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with an infected or inflamed pulp.
  • Saving the tooth: Root canal treatment can help save a damaged tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
  • Preventing further infection: Root canal treatment can prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth or parts of the body.
  • Improved oral health: By treating the infection and restoring the tooth, root canal treatment can help improve overall health.

If you are experiencing tooth pain or discomfort, it’s important to visit your Shoreline dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can determine if root canal treatment is necessary and help alleviate your symptoms. Remember, early intervention can prevent more serious dental problems down the road.