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ROOT CANALS

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Root Canals in North Seattle

A root canal is dental procedure performed to relieve dental pain and save a tooth (or teeth) that may be infected. It used to be that infected teeth had to be pulled! Advancements in dentistry have allowed for root canals to save you both your natural teeth and your money by preventing more complex (or expensive to treat) dental issues from occurring down the road.

Why You Need a Root Canal

If your tooth hurts, it may be due to an infection inside the tooth. If you chip a tooth or have a similar dental injury, or when a small cavity is neglected and burrows deeply, bacteria can infiltrate down to the root of the tooth. This area of soft tissue inside the tooth is called the “pulp”, and when it is inflamed it becomes extremely painful. This dental pain can worsen over time if not professionally treated by a restorative dentist.

Enter the root canal. A root canal is necessary when the pulp is infected or inflamed to the point of no return, whether it’s from decay, dental trauma (such as from teeth grinding or clenching), a dental accident, or significant bone loss in the mouth. Root canal therapy cleans out the source of infection, allowing the natural tooth to remain in the mouth.

Symptoms of a Tooth Infection

Pain and hypersensitivity to hot or cold are among some of the symptoms that are indicative of an infection. There are incidences where the nerve can die without any symptoms and the problem is then only detected in a radiograph (which is why regular dental checkups are an absolute necessity!). If you are concerned about your dental health or a recent toothache, give us a call–it could save your teeth!

Is A Root Canal Better Than A Dental Implant?

It’s not uncommon for patients to opt for a dental implant to replace an infected or damaged tooth. While dental implants have their place in the spectrum of restorative dentistry, it’s important to remember that your roots are natural implants in the mouth. Having your very own tooth in your mouth is still easier to maintain than dental implant. As an experienced general dentist, Dr. Smith believes that a well done root canal with good restorative protection can have significant health, comfort and cost advantages over a dental implant.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

While a root canal used to make patients nervous to see the dentist, modern technology has led to regular root canal treatments that are both comfortable and easy!

During your root canal appointment, Dr. Smith will numb the area for both physical comfort and peace of mind. Next, she will place a thin sheet of latex over the tooth to keep it dry during the procedure. A small hole into the pulp chamber is made at the top of the tooth to access the pulp of the tooth.

Dr. Smith will then clean out the pulp, or infected tissue, and may even apply a bacteria-fighting dental medication. She will finish by closing up the access with a strong, rubber-like material that functions similarly to a healthy tooth root and blocks bacteria from reaching the tiny spaces inside the tooth.

Depending on your unique dental treatment, Dr. Smith may complete your root canal treatment with a dental filling or fit you with a dental crown to restore your tooth and improve both its appearance and strength.

Don’t Forget: Tooth Loss Affects Overall Health

The alternative to root canal therapy, which is pulling teeth or waiting for tooth loss to take place can introduce a host of issues, like prompting the rest of your teeth to shift out of alignment and, making eating and cleaning them a daily challenge. And once it becomes hard to clean your teeth, another new set of issues arise…like gum disease, a systemic health condition. You can see how ignoring the treatment of a dental problem at its initial onset can result in expensive and painful consequences! Root canal therapy takes a gentle, conservative approach to restoring your smile.

Why Ongoing Dental Care is So Important

Now that the tooth is restored, your ongoing attention to oral hygiene is crucial. Your root canal can last for years, but only if you are diligent in maintaining its health: brushing, flossing, and returning to the dentist for regular checkups!

Aurora Dental Care

Dr. Smith is proud to have completed several independent clinic courses in root canal treatment to keep her skills current and cutting edge. If you have a tooth that hurts, or you think you may need a root canal, please give Aurora Dental Care a call at (206) 729-0273!

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Comprehensive Care

Our goal is to help you achieve optimal oral health. Having a healthy mouth allows you to have a healthy body, too. We understand the connection between the health of your mouth and the health of the rest of your body. This is why we offer all types of dental care to our patients. We can help with anything from general dentistry, including exams and cleanings, up to preventative care, including fillings and root canals, and then we can also offer restorative care, such as crowns and dental implants. No matter what you need, the staff here at Aurora Dental Care is able to help.

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You Are Our Priority

We want you to feel comfortable turning to us for all of your dental needs. It can be difficult, especially for those who do not have dental insurance, to be able to get the care they need at a price they can afford. We work with our patients because the health of your mouth, and the rest of your body, is our top priority. If you need help with a painful tooth, or an unhealthy mouth, call us. We will work with you to get the procedures done that you need, at a price you can afford. We will even offer installment payments for whatever you cannot cover upfront.

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