Root Canals

Christine S. Liu DMD & Lilian Liu, DMD

Dentists located in Portland, OR & Beaverton, OR

If you have a severely decayed or infected tooth, a root canal helps restore the tooth and avoid extraction. At the practice of Christine Liu, DMD, and Lilian Liu, DMD, with two locations, Jantzen Beach Dental in Portland, Oregon, and El Monica Dental in Beaverton, Oregon, the experienced dentists are highly skilled at performing root canals to save your tooth, relieve pain, and prevent future damage. At the first sign of a toothache, schedule an appointment at Christine S. Liu DMD, PC, over the phone today.

Root Canals Q & A

What are root canals?

A root canal is a restorative dental procedure in which your dentist cleans out and repairs a decaying or infected tooth. 

Your dentist removes the infected part of a tooth’s pulp and fills it with special dental materials to relieve pain, eliminate infection, and prevent further damage. Root canals can save your tooth from requiring extraction in the future.

Will I require a root canal?

Your dentist at Christine S. Liu, DMD, PC, lets you know if you’re a good candidate for a root canal after reviewing your medical history, symptoms, examining your tooth, and using dental X-rays. 

When bacteria get inside the pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, decay can lead to infection. Signs you might require a root canal include:

  • Swelling around your neck or face
  • Hole in your tooth
  • Tooth pain or a toothache
  • Gum swelling
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Pus near your tooth
  • Cracked tooth

Teeth that are severely decayed or infected sometimes require extraction. That’s why seeing your dentist right away at the first sign of a toothache is crucial to help save your tooth.

What happens during a root canal?

Root canals may take one or two visits. Your dentist numbs the area so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. They place a dental dam — a rubberlike sheet — in your mouth to keep your tooth clean and dry during the procedure.

Your provider uses a Waterlase™ laser to create a tiny opening in the top of your tooth. They remove and clean out infected or diseased parts of your tooth’s pulp using special dental instruments. Your dentist might apply medication to the pulp to clear an infection. 

After the interior of your tooth is clean and dry, your dentist fills the pulp’s chamber with special materials made of rubber compounds and sealer paste. They place a filling over the top to seal the opening shut and protect the tooth from future damage. 

If you require a crown, your dentist takes digital scans of your tooth and cements a custom-made crown, or cap, over the tooth.

How should I care for a restored tooth?

To care for your newly restored tooth, brush your teeth two times a day and floss every day. See your dentist for routine cleanings and dental exams every six months and avoid chewing on hard objects like ice, hard candies, and popcorn kernels.

Don’t let a toothache progress to severe decay or infection. Schedule an appointment at the office of Christine S. Liu DMD, PC, over the phone today.