Root Canals in Hillsboro and Aloha, and Forest Grove OR

We know that the sentence “You need a root canal” has an unfortunate tendency to strike fear into almost any dental patient. You may also have heard jokes or stories about root canal treatment being painful. As a result, the root canal, a valuable and effective dental procedure, has been given a bad reputation over the years.

We have good news for you, though!

Tremendous advances have been made in the dental field. Thanks to improved techniques and specialized instruments, today’s root canals are faster, more effective, and (most importantly to our patients!) more comfortable than ever. Plus, Drs. John Smith and Ryan Smith are both skilled and experienced at performing this procedure and achieving great results.

Root Canals Don't Cause Pain!

Another thing to note is that root canal treatment is not the cause of your pain. Your discomfort is actually the result of an infected tooth, which can be extremely painful and could spread to neighboring teeth and other parts of your body if it's left untreated. Root canal treatment in Hillsboro will eliminate your infection and save your tooth.

So, not to worry if you need a root canal. You can rest assured that you are in the hands of dentists you can trust, and our team will take great care of you.

If you or a loved one is experiencing tooth pain, don't hesitate to contact Smith Dental in one of our convenient Oregon locations in Hillsboro, Aloha, or Forest Grove for prompt care that will help you get back on the path to wellness.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

man holding jow from pain from infected toothRoot canal therapy treats trauma and infection that are wreaking havoc in the section of your tooth called the root canal. This part of your tooth contains the pulp chamber and the nerve of your tooth. If the infection or damage hits the nerve, the result can be pain and lots of it.

In some cases, the infection or damage can kill the nerve itself; when this happens, you may not experience the pain, but you will still need a root canal to prevent the infection from spreading and save the tooth.

Most patients we see who need root canals come to us because their tooth is hurting, but sometimes we see that a root canal is necessary on an x-ray. If this is the case, we’ll discuss the situation with you and talk to you about why treatment is essential, your treatment options, and what will happen without treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of a Tooth Infection

Tooth decay is one of the primary causes of a tooth infection. It moves slowly and is often hard to detect on your own because there aren't many signs or symptoms in the beginning.

Some early signs of tooth decay might be sensitivity to hot and cold foods or beverages. If you experience tooth sensitivity, contact your dentist right away for a checkup, as you may be able to prevent a painful tooth infection from starting.

If your tooth is infected, you may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Extreme pain that doesn't go away with ibuprofen or over-the-counter medications
  • A foul odor or taste in your mouth
  • Pain or discomfort when eating, biting, or chewing
  • Intense sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • A white bump or pimple on your gums around the painful tooth

If you are dealing with one or more of these symptoms, it is crucial to contact your Hillsboro dentist right away. It is essential to note that a tooth infection, unfortunately, won't resolve on its own. Instead, it will likely get progressively worse without root canal treatment.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

To repair the damage and eliminate the infection, we need to access the root canal of your tooth. Your comfort is our top priority, and we’ll give you plenty of anesthetics so that you can’t feel a thing while we are working on your tooth.

Once you are numb and comfortable, we’ll begin by creating an opening in your tooth that gives us access to the root canal and the infection. Then, using a specialized set of instruments, we will clean out the interior of your tooth, killing the infection and removing the diseased tissue from inside your tooth. We’ll also remove the nerve, which will relieve your pain.

After your tooth is thoroughly cleaned out and we confirm that it is infection-free, we’ll fill the tooth using either amalgam or composite resin filling (an option that we’ll discuss with you before beginning the procedure). If your tooth needs some extra support, we’ll cover it with a crown to protect and strengthen it.

Following Your Root Canal

You may experience some mild discomfort and swelling following your root canal due to the body’s natural healing process while combatting the infection. Your dentist may also recommend an antibiotic to help eliminate your tooth infection.

Once your immune system realizes that the threat is gone, your discomfort will subside. We’ll discuss remedies and tips that will make you more comfortable until this happens.

Many patients opt to take the rest of the day off to rest following the procedure, and we think this is a good idea; and if you have any concerns following your root canal, don’t hesitate to call.

When your tooth heals, you'll return to Smith Dental so we can rebuild your tooth with a crown or permanent filling so that you can enjoy all the functions you had before your tooth infection.

woman smiling from dental chair after root canalYou Can Prevent a Tooth Infection

Did you know that with regular teeth cleanings and checkups every six months, you may be able to avoid a tooth infection? It's true!

During your routine preventive checkup, your dentist will check for the early signs of tooth decay. When tooth decay is detected and treated in its earliest stages, you can likely treat it with a dental filling.

However, tooth decay that is left undiagnosed and untreated will eventually make its way into the nerve of your tooth, where it can cause an infection. 

Your dentist will also ensure that current fillings or crowns in your mouth are functioning correctly and not breaking down. A broken crown or filling can allow bacteria back into your tooth, resulting in an infection.

Your hygienist will remove the excess plaque in hard-to-reach places during your teeth cleaning. This also helps to prevent tooth decay and infections.

Even better, most dental insurances cover most or even all of the cost of preventive appointments, which means that protecting your teeth from a painful infection comes at very little to no cost to you.

Don't Delay Root Canal Treatment in Forest Grove, Aloha, and Hillsboro, OR

Teeth that need a root canal can cause a great deal of pain. You may be experiencing tooth sensitivity or even a constant ache that doesn't go away. If you are in pain, don’t wait another minute!

Call our dental offices in Aloha, Forest Grove, and Hillsboro, OR today so we can get you in quickly, relieve your pain, and get you back on the path to wellness.