Root Canals in Lewiston

“Root Canal” are two words you might not want to hear, but they don’t deserve the negative stigma that is associated with them. Over the years root canal procedures have evolved, and the stereotype of painful root canals couldn’t be further from the truth. Here at Joy Family Dentistry, we do our best to make sure every procedure we provide comes with least discomfort possible for all of our patients. If you need root canal services or are experiencing a painful toothache, we would be happy to set up an appointment with our dentist.

"It was my first time going to this practice as I was referred for a root canal. The staff was very pleasant. I saw Dr. Timothy Kim today and he was awesome. He and his assistant made sure that I was as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure explaining everything that he was doing as he went. I was a nervous but I was pleasantly surprised that it was more painfree than I thought a root canal would be. I will recommend this practice to others."
Ann H.

What Is a Root Canal Exactly?

A tooth consists of a few key parts. Above the gumline you will find the “crown” of the tooth, the crown is covered in a protective layer known as enamel and covers the dentin. Under the gums are the tooth’s roots. Within the roots are the tooth’s dental pulp which is filled with soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. A root canal is the procedure of removing infected dental pulp and then filling the tooth similar to a dental filling. The core difference between a dental filling and a root canal is where the dental decay is located. Fillings occur when decay is limited to the section of tooth above the gumline, whereas root canals are necessary for the area below the gumline.

Why Do I Need A Root Canal?

A root canal procedure is recommended when a tooth is either damaged or infected. This is one reason that regular dental visits are highly recommended. It is rare for dental decay to begin below the gumline. In most cases, this is caused when decay spreads over time, so catching tooth decay early can help prevent the need for a root canal. Some of the common symptoms that might indicate that you need a root canal are:

  • Swollen, puffy, red, or bleeding gums
  • Toothache
  • Swelling around the face or throat
  • Temperature sensitivity in the teeth

Tooth Extraction

If left untreated, a tooth with extensive decay may no longer be salvageable via root canal. In those cases, it may be necessary to remove the tooth entirely. This is why it is very important to make regular visits to your dentist even as an adult.

Cosmetic/Restorative Dental Solutions

In the event that a tooth needs to be removed, the team at Joy Family Dentistry can provide a variety of options to help fill in the gap. Dental implants, dental bridges, and dental veneers are all effective ways to replace a tooth to both improve your smile and bite alignment.

What Happens During A Root Canal?

A root canal will usually require multiple trips to your dentist. At your first appointment, dental X-Rays will be taken to diagnose how damaged your dental pulp is. At your next visit you will be given a local anesthetic to ensure you feel no discomfort during the procedure. Your dentist will remove the diseased pulp and clean the pulp chamber. You may then receive a temporary crown for that tooth which can be replaced by permanent crown later on.

Schedule An Appointment in Lewiston

If you are experiencing any dental pain or problems, we highly recommend that you make a dental appointment. Even if the pain subsides, any dental pain may be a signal of an underlying issue, and it is always best to address issues quickly than to let them continue to grow. If you would like to make an appointment for yourself or a family member, please click below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

The best way to find out you need any dental work is to find out from a dentist. Our teeth are not very good at giving us signs that there are problems. By the time we start experiencing things like toothaches or sensitivity that is often a sign that things have progressed quite far. The better option is to find out early on because of a dental x-ray or exam. That said here are some common symptoms of a dental issue:

  • Severe toothaches or recurring oral sensitivity 
  • Red, puffy gums around a tooth, especially darkening gums 
  • Pain when putting pressure on a specific tooth

A root canal is necessary when the root of a  totoh becomes infected. There are a few causes of this. one of the most common causes is dental decay. When dental decay isn’t removed or solved it spreads. What starts as a cavity at the chewing surface of the tooth can spread into the root. Other common causes of root canals are crack/chips to the tooth, issues with a dental crown that exposes the tooth, or injuries to the jaw.

It can be tempting when a dentist says you need a filling or a root canal to decide to not get the procedure done. Whether you are worried about payment or about discomfort, it is always recommended to get procedures your dentist recommends. If a tooth with an infected root is not treated the infection can worsen leading to the tooth falling out, severe toothaches, swelling, or other complications. As dentists we want to decrease any obstacles between our patients and the treatments they need. If you have payment questions we can discuss insurance and financing options. If you are concerned about discomfort we can discuss ways to help with that as well. 

A root canal is often referred to as an endodontic treatment. After being numbed with an anesthetic, the tooth is opened so that the damaged pulp can be removed and the now empty tooth root can be cleaned and filled similar to how a section of a tooth can be removed during a cavity filling procedure. 

Not always. Depending on the amount of the tooth that is removed during the root canal process you will likely need either a filling or a dental crown to replace the top of the tooth. 

Root canals have a bit of a bad reputation because of their history, but modern dentistry is much different from dentistry decades in the past. With local anesthetics a root canal is no different than getting a filling. That said, it is common to feel some soreness or discomfort for a few days after the treatment due to inflammation. That said, if the reason you came to the dentist was a toothache, you will likely feel much better after the root canal since the ache should be resolved. 

An emergency root canal is not much different from a standard root canal. The main difference is instead of catching the issue during an exam and receiving treatment a few days later, an emergency root canal happens when a patient experiences and unbearable tooth ache that leads them to calling a dentist for immediate assistance. 

Always listen to your dentist for any specific post-care instructions regarding any treatment your receive. Generally speaking, most people are able to return to school or work the same day after getting a root canal. Similarly to a filling you will likely be numb after the  treatment but the numbness will wear off over time. Over the counter pain medication can also be taken to reduce any pain or discomfort. And it is recommended to avoid eating until the numbness is gone to prevent accidentally biting your checks or tongue. 

Real Clients, Real Stories

We really love everyone at Joy dentistry! Everyone in the office is always extremely nice and kind. I love that our children enjoy going to the dentist and are not scared.It was important to me to find a dentist office where not only myself, but also our children could have a positive dental experience.

Victoria L.



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