Senior and High-Risk Patient Hours 9 AM – 11 AM on Mondays and Thursdays. For more COVID related information click here.

Signs of a Root Canal Infection

Learn More About Root Canals
woman holding mouth in pain

Most people are familiar with the term “root canal” because of its association with the dental procedure of the same name that is used to treat a severe infection inside the tooth. You may be unfamiliar, however, with what the root canal itself is and how to tell if it’s infected. To help you better understand the procedure, read on for more information about the root canal and signs of possible infections.

Tooth Pulp, Root Canals, & Infections

All teeth are filled with soft tissue consisting of nerves and blood vessels, also known as pulp. The pulp extends down into the tooth’s roots in individual channels called root canals. A single tooth has between one and four canals (some may have more, but this is rare).

When a tooth experiences severe decay that wears through the protective outer layers of the tooth (the enamel on top and the dentin underneath it), the bacteria reach the soft pulp inside of it and multiply rapidly. This leads to a worsening infection that can spread all the way down into the root ends and create a pus-filled cyst called an abscess.

Signs of an Infected Root Canal

Due to the sensitivity of the inner part of the tooth, an infected root canal is associated with acute pain, and it causes most people to call up their dentist for an emergency root canal procedure. If the infection has a chance to thrive down in the roots and develop into an abscess, it’s even more painful and needs to be treated immediately. Here are some of the main symptoms to look out for in the case of an infected root canal:

  • Constant pain that is especially acute when biting down
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold, even after the source is removed
  • Swelling and tenderness around the gums, mouth, and face
  • Foul-smelling drainage from around the tooth or gums indicating a ruptured abscess
  • Pimple or lump appearing on the gums
  • Darkening of the tooth indicating severe decay

Procedure for Treating an Infected Root Canal

Root canal therapy is a procedure intended to save a tooth that is severely infected. The procedure essentially hollows out the tooth by completely removing the pulp and cleaning out the infection inside. Since root canal infections are sometimes accompanied by an abscess at the root of the tooth, any abscess will need to be punctured and drained as well to avoid letting the infection spread to the rest of the body.

After the tooth is completely cleaned out and disinfected, it is filled in and sealed off to prevent the infection from reoccurring. Since the strength of the tooth has been compromised, it’s common to have a crown placed on top of the tooth to fortify its structure and to offer an added layer of protection from future infection.

Stono Dental Care offers a wide range of restorative treatments, including endodontics, or root canal therapy. We take dental emergencies seriously and will do everything possible to have you seen promptly to get the relief that you need. If you are experiencing pain and are in need of treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately and we will provide you with quick and gentle care.

Be sure to check out our dedicated Root Canal Therapy and Endodontics info sections and FAQs, by visiting our main Root Canal Services page.

If you would like to learn more about the cost of a root canal, please visit our Financial Page for information on insurance, payments plans, CareCreditSM and our dental savers plans.

Plan your next visit by clicking here! »

Leave a Reply

Senior and High-Risk Patient Hours 9 AM – 11 AM on Mondays and Thursdays

Over the next few weeks, we will slowly start to reopen our practice. As most of you know, most dental problems get worse overtime, and we want to treat dental issues before they become bigger problems. We want to ensure our patients that we are taking COVID-19 (and all infectious diseases) seriously and are adding extra precautions to protect you and our team.

We are offering special hours and accommodations for our senior and high-risk patients:

  1. Special hours: We are reserving 9 AM – 11 AM on Mondays and Thursdays for our seniors and high-risk patients.
  2. Mobile check-in: There will be no need for you to come into the waiting area. When you arrive, text 843-779-9096 or call 843-203-5429 to let us know that you are here. We will come to your car, bring you in the side door, and take you directly into a treatment room.
  3. First in room: You will be the first patient using the treatment room in at least 36 hours, since we are not normally open on the weekends or Wednesdays.
  4. Paperwork: Any paperwork that you need to complete will be sent to you via email or text so that you can complete it on your own device. We will also allow you to complete the paperwork in the treatment room using paper or a disinfected iPad.
  5. Mask: If you do not have a mask, one will be given to you to enter and exit the office. Our team will keep masks on when we are within 6 feet of you. Since we will be wearing masks, please forgive us if it makes communication harder and please know that we are still smiling underneath.
  6. Closed rooms: Each of our treatment rooms are closed with walls and doors and have their own air return vent. Closed rooms are very effective at keeping potential diseases from spreading from room-to-room.
  7. Check-out: The check-out process will be performed in the treatment rooms. After you are finished, you will leave the office through the side door and avoid the waiting area.
  8. Additional screenings: We will be screening all patients and team members for travel, symptoms associated with COVID-19, and contact with anyone showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. The temperatures of all patients and team members will be recorded.
  9. Mouth rinse: All patients will use a mouth rinse to destroy viruses and kill bacteria before treatment.
  10. Limit office traffic: We will require all non-essential families/friends to stay at home or wait in their vehicles during appointments.
  11. Infection control: We will continue our normal practice of following universal precautions, as we always do. This means after every patient, the room will be disinfected with chemicals that have been shown to be effective against the coronavirus in 30 seconds (Optim1), the instruments will be sterilized, and our team will continue to wear appropriate protective equipment such as mask and gloves.
  12. Addition cleaning: More frequent sanitation processes for the reception area and bathrooms.
  13. Suctions: As many of you know, we have always used special suctions. Not only do these suctions isolate the area being worked on and protect patient, they also prevent the spread of disease.
  14. Clean air: We have added additional air purification systems to our office.
  15. Stono Dental Care is taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our patients and team. Thank you for your patience and please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

    Take care,
Andy Game, DMD, MBA

Back to Top