Is a Root Canal an Emergency?

Is a Root Canal an Emergency?

by Kassandra Silva (SU)

The root canal procedure–also called endodontic therapy–removes damaged and diseased tooth pulp, sealing and crowning the tooth to protect and support it. While this common dental treatment may be performed on an emergency basis, it is usually done more routinely to cure and prevent infection, prevent further enamel degradation, and relieve symptoms such as pain. Here’s more from your dentist in Eugene, OR.

The Nature of Root Canal 

Root canal is so named because it restores the slender chambers, or canals, which course down each tooth root. Roots anchor your teeth into the gums and bone, and they contain nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, which nourish and support the teeth and allow them to feel pain and pressure.

Sometimes, this soft pulp interior may be damaged by a blow to the face, deep decay, multiple fillings, or infection. As such, the tooth throbs with pain, is sensitive to heat, cold, and chewing pressure, and may be discolored. Some teeth with pulp damage can become severely chipped, cracked, or discolored.

To bring a damaged tooth back to full health, your dentist in Eugene, OR, may advise a root canal procedure. This in-office treatment, done with local anesthetic, removes the pulp, disinfects or seals the canal, and places a temporary filling. After the tooth has healed, the dentist places a custom-shaped porcelain crown, making the repair tooth strong and long-lasting. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) says that most root canal procedures are highly successful and preserve the structure and functionality of the tooth for years.

Is A Root Canal an Emergency Dental Treatment? 

The broad aim of preventive and restorative dentistry is maintenance and restoration of the health and structure of the gums. A root canal can be an emergency treatment or a routine procedure, depending on when the need for it is discovered. For instance, some people find out they need a root canal during a routine dental check-up. Others find out they need a root canal due to severe tooth pain, which causes them to immediately visit the dentist.

A true root canal emergency occurs when symptoms are severe or when an accidental injury, as in a car accident or sports mishap, compromises the integrity of a tooth. If you experience these kinds of issues, call your dentist for advice and an appointment as soon as possible. Patients who need a root canal in an emergency may experience symptoms such as:

●     Intermittent or constant pain

●     Tooth sensitivity to pressure, temperature, or sugary foods

●     Drainage and pus around the tooth

●     Reddened, swollen tender gum tissue

●     A damaged filling or crown

●     Persistent bad breath, or halitosis

Any of the above symptoms require investigation and treatment by your dental care provider as they often indicate abscess, or serious infection, in the tooth.

Confirming their diagnosis with digital X-rays, the dentist may begin the root canal procedure right away. Usually, the treatment takes two appointments: one for the actual root canal procedure and the other for placement of the custom crown.

Emergency Root Canal in Eugene, OR

At 360 Dental, our caring team is led by Dr. Ari Binder, your friendly implant and family dentist. He offers a long menu of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental services, including endodontic therapy. You’ll be treated gently and accurately, so you have a beautiful, functional smile for years.

Call us at (541) 689-1645 today for an appointment or with any questions you may have about root canals and emergency dental treatments. You can also request an appointment online.