Root Canals

Kevin Ortale DDS

Family & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Phoenix, AZ

Severe tooth pain and gum swelling may be a sign that you have a tooth infection. Kevin Ortale, DDS, knows that an untreated tooth infection can lead to further damage, ultimately causing more pain and discomfort. That’s why he offers root canal therapy for both adults and children at his office in Phoenix, Arizona. Root canal therapy removes the infection and eliminates any leftover bacteria or decay, leaving your teeth healthy and pain-free. To learn more about root canal therapy, call or book an appointment online today.

What is root canal therapy?

A root canal is an endodontic treatment in which an infection is removed from your tooth’s chamber. A tooth infection starts inside the pulp — the soft center inside your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When your tooth’s pulp becomes infected, it can cause damage to your tooth and ultimately, spread to your jaw, neck, or head.

Fortunately, you don’t actually need your tooth’s pulp once your teeth have fully matured. That’s why Dr. Ortale can completely remove the pulp and the infection during a root canal. Dr. Ortale has years of experience performing root canal therapy on children and adults, for primary teeth and molars, even in emergency situations.

Which tooth infection symptoms should I look out for?

You may not realize you have a tooth infection, an emergency situation, until Dr. Ortale and his team examine your teeth, but the most common sign of an infection is tooth pain. Other tooth infection symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum inflammation
  • Facial swelling
  • Facial pain
  • Gum pain
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold drinks or food
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Swollen lymph nodes underneath the jaw

When left untreated, a tooth infection sometimes results in an abscess — a pus-filled sac that develops on your tooth root — an incredibly painful situation. If you experience any of the above symptoms, contact Dr. Ortale right away.

How does root canal therapy work?

Root canal therapy typically takes at least two separate appointments. During the first visit, Dr. Ortale examines your teeth and gums, views your medical records, and takes X-rays and scans to determine whether you have a tooth infection and see if it has impacted your jaw or surrounding teeth.

At your second appointment, Dr. Ortale numbs the affected area before performing the root canal procedure. Next, he drills a small access hole into the center of the tooth to reach the infection. The pulp is then removed entirely, cleaning out the infection, bacteria, and any additional debris.

Once the pulp is removed, Dr. Ortale fills the access hole with a putty-like material called gutta percha and seals the tooth to protect it from further infection. If necessary, he may recommend protecting your damaged tooth with a dental crown.

A root canal can help save your damaged tooth from extraction in the event of a tooth infection and offers a permanent solution. To protect the health of your smile and keep your teeth strong, call Kevin Ortale, DDS, PLC, for additional root canal information or book an appointment online today.