Is a Root Canal a Dental Emergency?

Root canals are a type of procedure used to treat a badly infected tooth. They involve cleaning out the inside of the tooth of all infected tissue, including going down the small chambers of the tooth, known as the canals.

A root canal is one of the most common emergency dental procedures. If you suspect you may need a root canal, call us at (803) 970-6080 for immediate dental care.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

The most common sign that a root canal is necessary is lasting pain that cannot be managed with OTC pain medication or other at-home measures. When a tooth is infected, it means the inside of it is actually filled with harmful bacteria which slowly eat away at the tooth, eventually affecting the nerves.

This leads to high levels of pain, which can last even for a few days. Other signs that your tooth is infected and needs a root canal can include:

  • Sharp pain when applying pressure to the tooth, such as when chewing or brushing your teeth
  • Heightened sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Gum or tooth discoloration
  • Abscess formation right above or below the tooth
  • Loose tooth
  • Tooth cracks, etc.

How Does a Root Canal Work?

If you do need an emergency root canal procedure, Dr. Hysa and Dr. Shamah will first take a look at the tooth to determine the extent of the damage. This can involve a visual inspection but also an X-ray to reveal how large the infection is.

Root canals usually involve the following steps:

  • Numbing the area - You’ll be given a local anesthetic or even sedative to ensure you remain comfortable during the procedure
  • Removing the decay - The tooth is drilled to reveal the infected tissue. Using special tools, all the decay is removed from the inside, and the tooth is sanitized to kill all remaining bacteria
  • Replacing the pulp - Once the tooth is cleaned, gutta-percha is used to fill in the whole and strengthen the tooth;
  • Restoring the tooth - Most Root canal treated teeth will need to be restored with a crown in order to reduce the chances of tooth fracture. In select few cases the tooth may be restored with a traditional filling.

Sometimes, an infection can’t be treated in a single appointment. Severe cases may require you to take antibiotics for a few days, particularly if the bacteria has spread to surrounding tissues such as your jaw bone.

You’ll know more about your treatment once Dr. Hysa and Dr. Shamah see you for a consultation.

Dealing With a Dental Emergency? Don’t Wait

Whether it’s pain, bleeding, or any other severe discomfort, an emergency dental session can help restore your oral health and reduce the risk of permanent tooth damage.

Call us at (803) 970-6080 now to see Dr. Hysa or Dr. Shamah for an emergency dental care appointment.

For a regular visit, you can request an appointment at Carolina Emergency Dental online.

We’ll Treat You Right!

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Call (803) 970-6080