Never ignore a toothache. If a cavity is deep enough to penetrate the inner chamber of your tooth, you\u2019ll 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\u2019t experience symptoms until it\u2019s too late to save the tooth. For this reason, it\u2019s important to see your dentist every 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 experience: \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\u2019ll be able to avoid dental extraction. What happens during a root canal? A tooth abscess won\u2019t 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 root canal 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, your dentist will numb your tooth so you won\u2019t feel any pain during the root canal procedure. Once you\u2019re properly numb, your dentist will drill a small hole near the top of your tooth. Your dentist will then use root canal files of increasing size to clean out the inner chamber of your tooth. For good measure, your dentist 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\u2019ll place a temporary filling until your crown is ready. Your permanent root canal 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. Who do I call when my tooth hurts? Don\u2019t ignore tooth pain. If you have a persistent toothache, schedule an appointment with one of our emergency dentists. They\u2019ll be able to examine the inside of your mouth and take x-rays to determine the source of your pain. The sooner we\u2019re able to treat a cavity, the less intensive treatment you\u2019ll 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. 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 root canal dentists, call (616) 209-4024.