Never ignore a toothache. If a cavity is deep enough to penetrate the inner chamber of your tooth, you’ll need emergency dental care or risk dental extraction. Our dentists will do everything in their power to save your tooth, including root canal therapy. During a root canal, we remove the infected tooth pulp and later strengthen your tooth with a crown. Continue reading to learn what you can expect during a root canal and how to recognize the signs of a tooth abscess. Do I Need a Root Canal? Some people don’t experience symptoms until it’s too late to save the tooth. For this reason, it’s important to see our dentists every 3-6 months for preventive care. During your dental exam, we check for tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues that compromise oral health. You might need a root canal if you are experiencing: \tSevere toothache \tTooth darkening in color \tPimple on the gums \tProlonged tooth sensitivity to hot and cold \tSwollen tender gums If you recognize any of the above symptoms, call our office as soon as possible to schedule your appointment. The sooner we can treat your tooth, the more likely you’ll be able to avoid dental extraction. What Happens During a Root Canal? A tooth abscess won’t go away on its own. If you suspect you need a root canal, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. During the procedure, our dentists will be able to remove infected tooth pulp and seal your tooth. Without root canal treatment, the tooth will die and need to be extracted. First, one of our dentists will numb your tooth so you won’t feel any pain during the root canal procedure. Once you’re properly numb, they will drill a small hole near the top of your tooth. They will then use root canal files of increasing size to clean out the inner chamber of your tooth. For good measure, our dentists may flush the tooth with water and antimicrobial solution to make sure any remaining pulp is removed. To seal the tooth and protect it from further infection, we’ll place a temporary filling until your crown is ready. Your permanent crown will be ready during your next appointment a few weeks later. A dental crown will restore your tooth to its natural strength and appearance. How Long Will the Procedure Take? This depends on the condition of your tooth. Generally speaking, a standard root canal procedure will take our dentists about 30-60 minutes to complete. If your particular case is more severe, there is a chance it will take upwards of an hour and a half. We will be sure to brief you on how long you’ll need to be in the dental chair. The type of tooth that is being treated, the level of severity, and the amount of root canals required will ultimately determine the time commitment. Who Do I Call When My Tooth Hurts? Don’t ignore tooth pain. If you have a persistent toothache, schedule an appointment with one of our emergency dentists. They’ll be able to examine the inside of your mouth and take x-rays to determine the source of your pain. The sooner we’re able to treat a cavity, the less intensive treatment you’ll need. Be sure to describe your symptoms to the person answering your call so they can determine whether emergency care is appropriate for your situation. Find Relief Today Our dentists offer root canal therapy and other restorative dentistry services so you can smile with confidence. To schedule your appointment with one of our Hudsonville, MI, dentists, call (616) 209-4024. This blog has been updated.