Root Canal Therapy in Beaverton
Root Canal Therapy
If you’re suffering from severe tooth pain in Beaverton, Dr. Bita Zavari can asses the problem. In some cases, the pain you’re feeling could be coming from the root of your tooth. When a tooth’s root becomes infected by bacteria, it can cause tremendous pain, and the solution to that pain is often a root canal. Unfortunately, root canal therapy is one of the most misunderstood dental procedures, and many people associate it with a painful dental visit. However, that’s not the case. Let’s dispel some of the myths of the treatment so you know exactly what it is you’ll be dealing with if we determine that having a procedure is the best option for you.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment designed to repair and save a badly infected or damaged tooth, and offers a potential alternative to extraction. The root canal is actually a natural cavity in the center of a tooth. This is where the pulp and nerve are located. Root canal therapy, then, is the procedure used to access this cavity and clean it out. The term "root canal" comes from the cleaning that occurs to the canals inside of the affected tooth's root.
When the root or pulp of a tooth becomes infected, there’s no way to actually save it. Bacteria quickly begins to multiply around the pulp, especially as the pulp breaks down and creates more space around it. These bacteria can lead to infection, and can even cause an abscess, which is a serious health concern.
The only way to deal with this infection is to remove what’s left of the pulp and the nerve. Once that’s done, the tooth can be repaired. The end result is that you no longer feel any pain because there’s no nerve left, and there’s no longer an infection that can spread to other teeth or into your jaw.
Why Have a Root Canal?
If a tooth’s pulp is infected, you really only have two choices: have a root canal to save the tooth, or have the tooth extracted. If the exterior of the tooth is in good shape or can easily be repaired with a filling or crown, it’s always best to save it. A root canal will do just that, plus it will also relieve any pain you’re in.
Doesn’t a Tooth Need the Pulp?
Once a tooth is fully developed, it doesn’t actually need the pulp or the nerve. The tooth receives nourishment from the tissue in the gums around it, so the pulp can be safely removed without any consequences. Many people have root canals and keep those teeth for the rest of their lives.
Root Canal Symptoms
If you have a cracked tooth, trauma to the tooth, a large cavity, or have had a tooth filled, but are experiencing pain in that tooth again, you may need a root canal. These are all signs that bacteria has infiltrated the root of the tooth and is now damaging the pulp. There are a number of symptoms you may experience that can indicate you need the procedure. The first is pain while biting or chewing food, especially if that food is hot or cold. Drinking something straight out of the refrigerator can be incredibly painful, and the pain can linger long after you finished drinking.
Your gums can also indicate that you need a root canal. You may see small spots that look like pimples appear on the gums around the infected tooth. The gums may also feel tender or be swollen. If there is a darker color, that’s also a sign of infection. If you see any of these signs, call us because you need to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Root Canal Treatment Steps
Your root canal therapy can normally be completed in one visit, though you may need or want to do it in two visits. First, we will X-ray the tooth to see where the infection is. Next, we numb the area and place a protective sheet over the rest of the teeth and gums around the infected tooth to protect them.
Next, we make a small hole in the top of the tooth down to the root canal. We use very precise tools to reach down this hole and remove the pulp. The space is then completely cleaned out to remove all bacteria from the tooth. Once this is done, we use a special filler material in place using dental cement. This completely fills in the root canal so it cannot be infected again.
Finally, a temporary filling will be put in place to close up the hole we made. You’ll need to come back later to get a permanent crown to protect the tooth.
Does the Procedure Hurt?
While the procedure carries the reputation as causing a lot of discomfort, advances in dentistry and local anesthetics now make root canal procedures nearly pain free. In fact, most patients experience far more discomfort living with a damaged tooth than they experience treating the underlying issue. Alternative treatments include tooth extraction and the eventual replacement of the tooth with a dental bridge, implant, or partial denture.
The bad reputation that it has gotten is sometimes from the dental pain that you can have leading up to the need for a root canal treatment or sometimes delaying the treatment and letting the infection to worsen. Your mouth is completely numbed during the procedure, so it doesn’t hurt. You may rarely feel some discomfort later, after the anesthetic wears off, but it’s nothing that over-the-counter pain relief medication can’t handle.
How Long Is the Root Canal Recovery Time?
There is very little recovery time following the procedure. You can actually return to work or class after the procedure is done. However, the numbing agent usually wears off after two to four hours, so you may want to at least take the day to rest and be prepared to deal with any lingering pain. You shouldn’t eat anything until the numbness has faded, and you will want to avoid eating anything hot or hard that could injure your teeth for a few days. Overall, though, you can return to your daily routine right away without any issues.
What Does a Root Canal Cost in Beaverton?
Root canal therapy in Oregon is covered by most dental insurance companies, so you won’t have to shoulder the entire cost of the procedure. The cost does depend on how complex the issue is and which tooth is infected, because some are more difficult to operate on than others. The cost of a root canal is usually less than the cost of an extraction and replacement, which is another reason why choosing a root canal is often the better option.
If you are in severe pain, we’re your nearby dentist to help. Contact our Beaverton dental office today to make an appointment so we can help you become pain-free again.
Finally, there’s a dentist you enjoy visiting. Dr. Bita Zavari specializes in cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and sleep apnea treatment. She brings a level of care, newest technology, and continuing education unlike any dentist in Beaverton and SW Portland. Elite Dental Care is known for our spa-inspired experience, with welcoming staff, patient entertainment, and state-of-the-art technology. We are conveniently located near Cedar Hills.