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Root Canal Therapy

Vancouver, WA man smiling about his successful root canal procedure by his dentist.When bacteria invade your tooth, an infection develops. Infections in your teeth are dangerous. Untreated, the bacteria can spread from your tooth into your bloodstream. Once there, they spread all throughout your body, which can lead to serious health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. At Oasis Dental, we can remove the infection from your tooth, and take measures to protect your oral health, with a root canal.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a treatment that is designed to remove an infection from the interior of your tooth. This is accomplished through the removal of the infected pulp and the nerves. The canals within the affected tooth are disinfected before the tooth is sealed with a crown, which is meant to provide the tooth with strength and protection from a new infection.

What Causes an Infection in the First Place?

Your tooth is a complex structure. The exterior, or the enamel, is the protective layer. Inside the enamel, there are channels that lead to the roots. The interior also contains pulp, in which there are many tiny blood vessels. Infections in the tooth occur when bacteria find their way inside. Bacteria that enter the tooth multiply rapidly, irritating the pulp, and causing inflammation. Infections cannot be removed by any means other than a root canal.

There are several ways in which bacteria can get into your tooth in the first place:
•  Chips or cracks that extend past the enamel and into the dentin.
•  Tooth decay.
•  Gum disease.

Signs of an Infection

There are a few different signs that can indicate an infection in your tooth:
•  A painful toothache.
•  Facial swelling.
•  You are experiencing bone loss in your jaw.
•  Pain that starts when you eat and lingers well after you are finished.
•  Lingering sensitivity.
•  A dental abscess. An abscess is a sac that forms around the infection as it attempts to spill out of the root of your tooth and into the jawbone. The abscess works to contain the infection, preventing it from spreading. The longer the abscess goes untreated, the larger it grows (destroying your jawbone). There is also the risk that the abscess can rupture, spilling out the bacteria into your jawbone.


If you have a toothache or any other symptoms of an infection, it is essential that you seek professional treatment. This is the only way to make a definitive diagnosis. Along with a visual examination of your mouth, we will also take digital images of the interior of your mouth. The images will show the infection and will allow us to provide the best possible treatment for your specific needs.

Treatment with a Root Canal

Before beginning the root canal, we first administer a local anesthetic. We clean the tooth, and dry it, taking measures to block the tooth from bacterial contamination while we work. A small hole is drilled into the top of your tooth. Using specialized tools, we work to remove the pulp and the nerves. We then shape the canals, and clean and disinfect the entire interior. We then fill the tooth and prepare it for a crown. Preparation involves removing some of the enamel of your tooth, making room for the crown to fit perfectly into the rest of your smile. Molds are taken of your mouth and sent to a lab, where the crown is fabricated. Once ready, it is cemented in place, helping to restore the health, and strength, of your tooth.

Treating an infected tooth is essential for your oral, and your overall, health. For more information on root canal treatment, and to schedule your appointment, contact Oasis Dental today at (360) 836-1100!
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Matthew Aldridge, DMD
Oasis Dental
16500 SE 15th St, Suite 180
Vancouver, WA 98683 MAP

Office Hours:
Monday: 8am–5:30pm
Tuesday: 7am–8pm
Wednesday: 7am–8pm
Thursday: 7am–3pm
Friday: 7am–1pm

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