Endodontics And Root Canals Specialist

Renton Family Dentistry

Catherine Im, D.D.S.

Family, Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry located in Renton, WA

When tooth pain becomes so severe that you miss work or have trouble eating, it’s time to see a specialist. The American Association of Endodontists estimates that dental professionals perform over 15 million tooth-saving root canals each year. Catherine Im, DDS, of Renton Family Dentistry in Renton, Washington specializes in endodontics and root canals. Dr. Im works to save your tooth, so you don’t have to have it pulled. The practice offers flexible scheduling for patients who need treatment for tooth pain. Schedule your endodontic evaluation today either online or by phone.

Endodontics and Root Canals Q & A

Why do I need a root canal?

You may need endodontic care if you have a tooth that is extensively decayed or damaged. Usually, the tooth becomes so infected or broken that you are left in unbearable pain. It might be time for a root canal if you have:

  • A chronic toothache
  • Throbbing tooth pain
  • Gum swelling or pus around a tooth
  • Tenderness or inflammation in your gums
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold
  • An infection in your tooth’s root

Dr. Im takes several images of your tooth before providing options. While a tooth extraction is an option for some, it’s usually a last resort. By selecting a root canal, Dr. Im can preserve your tooth, which minimizes any shifting or bone loss.

What is it like to get a root canal?

With modern-day endodontics, root canals are quicker and nearly painless compared to years ago. Before your scheduled root canal, Dr. Im covers sedation dentistry options in case you’re worried about pain or discomfort. Sedation can be as simple as getting nitrous oxide (laughing gas) during your procedure or taking a pill beforehand to help you relax.

On the day of your root canal, you start with your sedation — if selected. Dr. Im thoroughly numbs your tooth and the surrounding area. She starts by making a large hole in your tooth to gain access to the root. Using advanced pulpectomy techniques, Dr. Im removes the diseased tooth pulp and clean inside your tooth’s root.

The final step is filling the gap in your tooth’s root and sealing the opening. From your first evaluation to the day you get your permanent crown — if needed — expect to have about two to three appointments.

Will I need a crown after a root canal?

Possibly. If the opening is small, you might just need a filling. Usually, though, patients require a crown after a root canal. In this case, you get a temporary crown the same day as your root canal, then come back to have your permanent crown placed at a later time — usually about a week later.

In some cases, Dr. Im may have you come back for a follow-up just to see how your permanent crown fits. She can make any necessary adjustments if your bite doesn’t feel perfect.