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Alleviate Toothaches and Dental Pain with Root Canal Therapy

Do you have a toothache? Are you experiencing facial swelling? You may have a tooth infection. This condition can be extremely painful, and occurs when the internal tissues and nerves of a tooth become inflamed. If left untreated, an abscess can form, and the tooth will most likely need to be extracted. At Creative Smiles in Vancouver, WA, Dr. Carl Futenma can perform root canal therapy to alleviate your dental pain and protect your oral health.

What is a Root Canal?

Tooth pain occurs as a result of bacteria leaking into the tooth, which can be caused by deep decay, fractures, or other dental damage. Once the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, it can cause extreme pain and discomfort. Root canal therapy is designed to save an infected tooth before the condition becomes irreversible. During this procedure, the infected tissues inside the tooth are removed and replaced with a dental material. Because infection can spread quickly to adjacent teeth, it is important to treat the condition as soon as possible.

Who is a Candidate for Root Canal Therapy?

During an initial consultation with Dr. Futenma, he will perform an examination to determine if the tooth is savable. In some cases, dental damage may be too severe and an extraction will be necessary. However, if the tooth has a good prognosis with treatment, then root canal therapy can be performed to alleviate your symptoms. You may be a candidate for root canal therapy if you are experiencing:

  • A toothache
  • Jaw pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bumps or blisters on gums
  • Spontaneous tooth discoloration
  • A fracture
  • Swelling of the face, neck, or head

Root Canal Therapy: The Procedure

If it is determined you are a candidate for root canal therapy, Dr. Futenma will begin by administering local anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the treatment. He will then begin removing any decayed or damaged portions of the tooth. The internal structure of the tooth will be accessed and the tissue and nerves will be removed from the pulp chamber and root canals. Once the infected tissue is gone, he will disinfect the tooth surfaces. After the tooth has been prepared, Dr. Futenma will use tiny dental instruments to widen the root canals, and fill them with a flexible, rubbery dental material called gutta percha. The pulp chamber will then be packed with cotton, and a temporary filling will be placed to protect the tooth. Typically, we will allow approximately one week of healing before proceeding to the next step.

During your second visit, the temporary filling will be removed, and the pulp chamber will be filled with a core buildup. The final step will involve the placement of either a dental filling or a crown.

Recovery after Root Canal Therapy

Generally, any sensitivity patients feel after root canal therapy pales in comparison to the pain they experienced before the procedure was performed. The very nature of root canal therapy is to alleviate dental pain. Most patients experience little to no discomfort, although some may feel temperature sensitivity temporarily.

Learn More about Root Canal Therapy

If you are experiencing symptoms of an infected tooth, the solution may be easier than you think. Schedule an appointment right away to see if root canal therapy will work for you. To speak to a team member, call our office at (360) 574-3061 or contact us online anytime.