Root Canal Treatment

Many of our patients would prefer to avoid root canal treatment because of its reputation as a painful procedure. You will be happy to know that root canal therapy actually relieves painful symptoms, and with modern rotary instruments, it is faster and more successful than ever.

What Causes the Need for Root Canal Treatment?

Trauma and infection to the tooth are the main causes of root canal infections. Your tooth may become infected because of deep decay or periodontal disease. Constant teeth grinding and clenching can also cause the need for endodontics.

The first signs that indicate the need for a root canal can range from mild pain and swelling to extreme inflammation and a toothache. Even if you only suspect that you may need a root canal, it’s a good idea to contact our Portland dental office for an exam, as symptoms can worsen quickly:

  • Swelling in the face, neck, or jaw
  • Discolored tooth
  • A small pimple on the gums
  • Pain and sensitivity

Occasionally, we will diagnose the need for a root canal with routine diagnostic x-rays and catch it before an emergency arises. It is important to remember that any time you experience tooth pain, it is your body’s way of letting you know that it’s time for a trip to the dentist. At the same time, however, don't wait until something hurts! Regular check-ups can help you avoid painful emergencies.

How Root Canals Work

At NE Dental Associates, we use the latest digital x-ray systems for the highest resolution images available. When you arrive in the dental practice, we will take an x-ray of the affected area, in addition to other tests, to identify the presence of infection.

If a root canal is needed, your dentist will completely numb the tooth. We also offer nitrous oxide sedation if you are feeling nervous about your procedure.

After you are completely comfortable, our dentists will access the tooth’s canal and clean it out completely, using modern rotary instruments, to remove all signs of bacteria and infection. Rotary endodontic instruments have flexible titanium tips and are operated by a high-speed handpiece, reducing the time you spend in the chair and improving the outcome.

Next, we will place an antimicrobial medication inside the canal to prevent re-infection. After filling the canal, your dentist will seal the tooth with a temporary restoration to keep out food and bacteria. Your body will need time to heal.

It is normal to feel some sensitivity for a few days. It will gradually improve until you feel pain-free again.

To protect your root canal-treated tooth, our dentists often recommend a dental crown, which will prolong the life of your tooth and protect it from breaking.

Do You Have a Toothache?

Don’t put your oral health at risk. Contact NE Dental Associates, located in the Portland art district, and our dentists will have you feeling like yourself again fast.