Is a Root Canal a Dental Emergency?

Think you might be dealing with a large cavity or an infected tooth? Then you might be wondering if you need an emergency root canal in Eau Claire

But does a root canal count as a dental emergency? How can you tell you need swift oral care?

Check out this short blog post to learn more.

Root Canals Require Emergency Dental Treatment

Not only is a root canal an emergency dental treatment, but it’s also one of the most common reasons why people see emergency dentists. 

Root canals are used to treat a large cavity or badly infected tooth. By the time you need such a procedure, you’re likely experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, such as:

  • Throbbing pain
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Dental abscess
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Cracked teeth, etc.

Root canals are the best way to treat a badly infected tooth and potentially prevent permanent tooth extraction. 

When the tooth is infected, its inside is full of harmful bacteria, which slowly eat away at the tooth’s pulp. Over time, bacteria travel to the root area and even spread to other tissues of the body, such as the gums, sinuses, or even the jaw bone.

How Is an Emergency Root Canal Done?

Emergency root canals are performed as follows: 

  • Tooth assessment: First, it’s important to determine how infected the tooth is and whether a root canal is even possible. For severely infected teeth, an extraction may be the only solution to restore oral health. An emergency dentist will visually inspect the tooth and take an X-ray of your mouth to get a better picture.
  • Cleaning the tooth: If the tooth can be saved, the root canal starts by first drilling the tooth to expose all the bacteria inside. Then, the dentist uses special tools to remove all the bacteria, affected pulp, and nerves from the tooth, including from the canals.
  • Disinfecting: Once the tooth is cleaned, the dentist applies a special disinfectant to kill any remaining traces of bacteria to ensure another infection won’t appear later on.
  • Reconstructing: Since root canals involve removing tooth pulp, the dentist will need to use either a dental filling or a crown to restore the tooth to its full size and strength.

Most root canals are done in one sitting. But for large infections, patients may need multiple appointments. You may also have to follow antibiotic therapy for a few days, especially if the infection already shows signs of spreading to other tissues.

Emergency Care at Shook Family Dental

Dr. John Shook understands that dental issues can strike at any time, so he is available for same-day dental care for all patients in the Eau Claire area.

If you’re dealing with a dental emergency, call us at (715) 955-4401 right away for your next steps. 

You can also request a regular appointment at Shook Family Dental online.