Root Canals

When the root of your tooth is infected, or you’re experiencing a tooth abscess, you may require a root canal in order to save that tooth! In the field of endodontics, root canals, also known as endodontic therapy, are primarily practiced as an alternative treatment and means of saving the tooth, rather than extracting it.  Root canals are also performed when a tooth is so cracked or damaged that infection is unavoidable. In the event that your infected or abscessed tooth goes untreated for too long, you may require an emergency root canal.

Understanding the Anatomy


The inside of your tooth consists of a soft tissue called the pulp, which contains all of the nerves and blood vessels connected to the tooth’s root. Surrounding the pulp is a hard layer called the dentin. Outside of the dentin is the white enamel. Inflammation of the pulp results in a tooth abscess due to deep decay. This decay can be caused by a variety of situations, such as a cracked tooth or a cavity that has been left without treatment for an extended period.

Symptoms of Infection

Whether it’s due to the prolonged decay of a large cavity or has resulted from a recent injury, patients who undergo emergency root canals often experience a wide variety of signs and symptoms that directly relate to an infection of the tooth’s root. What begins as a dull, uncomfortable sensation around the infected area can quickly develop into an unbearably painful situation that keeps you awake all night.

When the root of your tooth becomes infected by harmful bacteria, it’s only a matter of time before more serious health complications arise; which is why it’s important to take immediate action, not only to provide pain relief, but to ensure your overall health isn’t further jeopardized. Below we’ve listed a few of the most common indicators of an infected tooth:

  • When an injury or large cavity damages the root of your tooth, the tooth becomes infected and the surrounding tissues swell. Symptoms of a tooth abscess or deep infection of your tooth may include:
  • Acute tooth pain
  • Pulsing or throbbing sensations in the tooth or jaw
  • Inflammation (redness and puffiness) of the gums
  • Darkening or discoloration of the tooth
  • A pimple on the gums
  • Prolonged sensitivity
  • Fever
  • Swelling of the neck or face

Identifying these symptoms early enough will eliminate the need for emergency dental care down the road.

The Process of Endodontic Therapy

An Endodontist is a dentist who performs endodontic therapy, also known as a root canal. Endodontic treatment of a tooth abscess often entails a couple visits to our office, located in Center City, Philadelphia, to complete the following steps:

1. X-rays – Your mouth will be x-rayed after the initial inspection so our endodontist can have an accurate understanding of exactly what needs to be done.

2. Anesthetic – A local anesthetic will be applied to your abscessed tooth, your gums, and your jaw. This prevents you from feeling pain during the procedure.

3. Dental Dam – A dental dam is placed over the numbed area to isolate your infected tooth and keep it saliva-free as our endodontist works.

4. Pulp Cleaning – Our endodontist will then make a small opening in your affected tooth crown, allowing them to use instruments to clean the infected pulp from your tooth, roots, and pulp chamber.

5. Shaping & Filling – The entire area will then be thoroughly cleaned and shaped before the canal is filled with gutta-percha, a natural latex. In most cases, our endodontist will give you a temporary filling during your healing process.

6. Crown Placement – You will need to return after a few weeks to have a crown placed on your tooth or have another form of restorative covering. This will complete the root canal treatment and revive your tooth to its full function once again.

Our ability to salvage diseased and infected teeth has made CCED a reputable and trustworthy cosmetic dentistry practice in Center City, Philadelphia. When you are suffering from tooth pain or feel insecure about your smile, give CCED a call right away. We will treat your tooth and restore your oral health so you can smile with confidence once again!

Why Choose CCED?

When it comes to an oral emergency, you need to rely on a team of professionals who have the know-how to relieve your pain and protect your health. At CCED, our endodontists have over six decades of experience in performing emergency root canals for our patients. Conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia, we offer our emergency dental services 24/7 for a rapid and effective treatment. If you require emergency dental services, call us today.