Root Canal

Shaun S. Lee, DDS -  - Cosmetic & General Dentist

SL Cosmetic and General Dentistry

Shaun S. Lee, DDS

Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Renton, WA

In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, the common cure was to simply remove the tooth, making no effort to save it. Thanks to advances in root canal procedures, Dr. Shaun S. Lee of SL Cosmetic and General Dentistry in Renton, Washington can preserve your tooth and relieve the pain caused by the infection in just a few visits.

Root Canal

What does a root canal treat?

When a tooth is cracked, decaying, or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside your tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form and the infected tissue may cause pain and swelling. 

If the infected tissue is not removed, the infection can spread to your jawbones, cause swelling in your face and neck, and affect your overall health.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

If you have an infection in your tooth, it will impact the nerve inside the tooth, causing substantial pain. The pain can be severe, especially when you apply pressure to the affected area.

Aside from the obvious pain, several other signs may indicate the need for a root canal, such as:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold that lingers after the source is removed
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Swollen and tender gums
  • A pimple on the gums

Dr. Lee will X-ray your teeth first to determine the cause of your symptoms and confirm whether a root canal procedure is the best course of action for you. 

What happens during a root canal procedure?

A root canal procedure generally involves the following three steps: 

  • Remove the affected tissue
  • Clean and seal the interior of the tooth
  • Fill the tooth with a dental composite 

If your tooth has extensive decay, the doctor may suggest placing a crown over the tooth to strengthen it and protect it from breaking.

How many visits do I need for a root canal?

Root canal procedures are performed in the office, and the number of visits required will depend on the extent of the decay and damage. If your infection is caught early and there is minimal damage, a root canal procedure can be done in one or two visits. If, however, there is a substantial amount of affected tissue, Dr. Lee may need three or more visits to fully resolve the issue.

How long will a root canal last?

As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.