Root Canal Therapy – Bellevue, WA
Relieve Toothaches & Renew Oral Health
At Bellevue Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we know that visiting the dentist isn’t every patient’s favorite activity, and when patients hear they need a root canal, even the toughest people may find themselves cringing. Luckily, your Bellevue dental office team is here to set the record straight on root canal therapy. It doesn’t hurt! In fact, it can relieve pain and save a tooth you may otherwise lose. At Bellevue Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer a wide range of treatments to keep patients’ smiles whole and healthy for life, including root canal therapy. If you’re interested in finding out more or scheduling an appointment, call our Bellevue dental office. One of our knowledgeable team members will walk you through at-home care to relieve pain and protect your smile until you reach our office.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental treatment that is necessary when dental damage or decay reaches the very inner layer of the tooth called the pulp. Within this inner-most layer, the tooth’s nerve is housed. When the damage and decay access this nerve tissue, the painful result puts the entire structure and function of the tooth at risk. Root canal therapy allows us to remove and replace this damaged internal tooth structure and restore oral health and function.
How do I Know if I Need Root Canal Therapy?
To know for sure that you need a root canal, you’ll need to visit our office for an examination. However, some of the warning signs that you may need root canal therapy include the following:
- Severe toothache – dull constant throbbing and/or sharp pain when biting down
- Dental sensitivity – lingering discomfort when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold
- Discoloration – darkening of the tooth usually near the gum line
- Infection – gum swelling or sores around an individual tooth as well as other signs of infection, including fever, fatigue, and nausea
What is the Root Canal Treatment Process?
The root canal treatment process can take several trips to our dental office. During the first appointment, our top priority is ensuring your comfort. We start by numbing the area around your damaged tooth. Then, we drill from the top of the tooth into the pulp layer. The entire nerve, pulp, and other damaged tissues are all removed. The inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleansed to prevent additional damage or decay. Next, the tooth is refilled with a biocompatible substance. The access hole is resealed with tooth-colored composite. Finally, a dental crown is typically placed to protect and strengthen the tooth to ensure the success of your root canal therapy.
Root Canal FAQs
Chances are you’ve heard plenty of scary things about root canals. The good news is that most of these things are just rumors. In truth, there is nothing to fear about root canal therapy. That said, you may still have some questions regarding the treatment, so we’ve included the answers to a few frequently asked questions about root canals below. Of course, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you still have during your appointment.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Of all the root canal myths out there, this one is perhaps the most pervasive. The pain that people often associate with root canal therapy actually comes from the toothache that warrants the procedure. In fact, root canals are designed to relieve this pain.
Before we begin your procedure, we’ll use a local anesthetic to ensure your mouth is numb. If need be, we can even administer nitrous oxide sedation to help you relax. While your mouth may be sore for the next few days, your root canal itself should not hurt.
What Should I Expect After My Root Canal?
After your root canal is finished, we’ll send you home with personalized guidelines to promote a smooth and speedy recovery. For the first few days, your tooth will feel sore or sensitive, so we recommend eating a soft food diet during this time. You can still brush and floss as normal, but just be gentle around the treatment area. If you experience severe swelling, bleeding, or pain that worsens instead of improving after two or three days, then give us a call right away.
How Long Can I Wait to Get a Root Canal?
No one wants to take time out of their busy schedule to get a root canal. However, waiting too long to undergo this procedure that you need could have serious consequences. If you delay getting a root canal for too long, the condition of your tooth may worsen. It may end up having to be removed entirely. Extracting and replacing a tooth is a much more complex (and expensive) process than root canal therapy. To keep your oral health in the best shape possible, it’s best to schedule your root canal procedure soon after we let you know that you need one.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Root Canals?
Generally, dental insurance providers consider root canal therapy to be a major restorative treatment. This means that once you have paid your deductible for the year, your insurance will cover about 50% of the cost until you reach your annual maximum.
Our practice is in-network with a long list of popular dental insurance providers, including Delta Dental, Cigna, Aetna, and Humana. We’ll help you navigate the details of your plan and even file claims on your behalf to make the payment process easier. If you still need help funding your treatment, we offer low- to no-interest financing through our partnership with CareCredit.