Is a Root Canal a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are a category of oral health problems that qualify as needing prompt treatment to prevent serious problems from becoming worse or to relieve significant pain. If you are experiencing a dental problem that can wait for a few days to be treated, it is probably not an emergency. To find out if root canals are considered dental emergencies, read on in this blog from Elevate Smile Design.

Why a Root Canal Is a Dental Emergency

Root canals fall under the category of dental emergencies because issues such as signs of an infection and severe tooth pain are considered problems that need immediate treatment to prevent complications and worsening discomfort.  Failure to treat a tooth infection right away can mean the loss of a tooth or the spread of the infection to other teeth and the bloodstream. This can have serious overall health complications, including sepsis.

What Are the Symptoms of an Infected Tooth?

A tooth infection can be caused by untreated tooth decay or dental trauma. The following are common symptoms of tooth infections that require root canal treatment:
  • Severe tooth pain
  • An abscess around the tooth
  • Facial swelling
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity, especially to heat and cold
  • A damaged tooth or exposed root
  • A tooth that feels loose

When Should You Call a Dentist?

If you notice the previously mentioned symptoms, it is likely that you have a tooth infection and need a root canal. You should call us to book an appointment right away. However, tooth infections do not always produce physical symptoms like pain or sensitivity. This is why regular checkups are important. The absence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are infection-free.

Emergency Appointments at Elevate Smile Design

At Elevate Smile Design, we offer a variety of emergency dental appointments. We offer weekend appointments to all patients as well as same-day and after-hours appointments for our existing patients.  We understand that emergencies happen when we least expect them, which is why we’ve built emergency appointment expectations into our schedule every day. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, give us a call at (253) 275-1255 so we can accommodate you. While walk-ins may be accepted for existing patients, the best way for us to ensure you receive prompt care is to call ahead so we can prepare for your visit.

Schedule an Emergency Appointment Today

If you are having a dental emergency, contact us at Elevate Smile Design to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jason Perlman or Dr. Karyn Mai.


If you are experiencing a dental emergency please call our office for immediate assistance.

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