Ignoring a cavity can cause it to spread into the pulp, the interior filling of the tooth. This infection can cause severe pain, and a root canal is often the best solution. Dr. Chang and Dr. Kalhan, the dentists at Sunrise Dental in Shoreline, Washington, can extract the infected pulp to preserve the tooth. Root canals are the best way to avoid tooth extraction when the infection is severe.
"Root canal" is the common term for root canal therapy. Dr. Sohn and Dr. Lee perform root canals when the interior of the tooth is severely infected or otherwise damaged.
During a root canal, Dr. Sohn or Dr. Lee will extract the damaged portion of the tooth and fill the inner tooth with a thermoplastic filling called gutta percha. They will then seal the tooth and place a dental crown over it for protection.
Some of the signs that you could need a root canal include:
If you have some or all of the above symptoms, speak to our office about whether a root canal could help.
First, Dr. Sohn or Dr. Lee will take X-rays and perform a thorough exam to determine a treatment plan. During the procedure, one of our doctors will administer a local anesthetic and place a protective dam to separate the tooth. They will then drill into the tooth's crown and uses specialized dental instruments to extract the pulp.
Next, they clean and shape the canals within the tooth. He fills the empty canals and seals the tooth. Finally, one of our doctors will place a temporary crown for protection.
Our doctors replace the temporary crown with a custom-made permanent crown at the next appointment, in around two weeks. Dr. Sohn or Dr. Lee may also recommend a core build-up to create better support for the crown.
During the procedure, you're unlikely to experience any sensation at all thanks to the anesthesia. After the root canal, you may experience discomfort or pain for a couple of days. Take over the counter pain relievers or prescription medicine from Dr. Sohn or Dr. Lee to manage this effectively.
Yes, a root canal is the better option because it preserves your natural tooth. With extraction, problems like teeth shifting can occur. An extraction often requires a dental implant or other tooth replacement.
Ready to learn more about root canal therapy? Our doctors can help. Use the online appointment tool to book a consultation now, or call the office for help.