Port Orange TYPE

Emergency Root CanalPort Orange, FL

An emergency root canal is necessary when a severely decayed or damaged tooth compromises the pulp chamber, containing the pulp, nerves, and roots. Root canal treatments are required due to infection, and in emergency situations, the infection spreads throughout the tooth’s inner core deep into the roots. In most cases, emergency root canals may also determine that the infection has caused an abscess at the base of the tooth’s root(s).

At Sondra Avant DDS, we provide emergency root canal treatments for patients experiencing unbearable pain and severe symptoms. Our team can diagnose the problem, identify its causes, and often get started immediately in the first or second visit. To learn more about the procedure or schedule an appointment, call (386) 304-4620 today.

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What is an Emergency Root Canal?

An emergency root canal becomes necessary when a patient is experiencing unbearable pain as a result of a severely decayed or damaged tooth. An emergency root canal often means the pulp chamber has been compromised. It could also indicate that an infection has spread to the roots and nerves of the tooth.

Many symptoms of an infected root canal are not apparent in early stages of pulp damage or decay. However, if left untreated, the root chamber and infection progress and intensify the pain. It could also lead to more complications to the surrounding teeth and bone.

Root Canals vs. Emergency Root Canals

Root Canals

A non-emergency root canal is more common as most symptoms occur early on, allowing a general dentist to catch signs of decay before it progresses. A root canal treatment consists of removing damaged tissue to stop the infection from spreading, which reduces the associated pain. The tooth and root chamber are flushed and thoroughly cleaned, then sealed.

Emergency Root Canals

Patients needing an emergency root canal often experience more severe symptoms and unbearable pain that can take over the entire mouth. Emergency root canals indicate that the infection, decay, and damage have reached beyond the pulp chamber and have spread throughout the roots, gums, and jawbone. Often, there is also an abscess at the base of the tooth roots or throughout the pulp and root chambers.

Reasons for Needing Emergency Root Canals

The primary reason for any root canal treatment is infection, but the severity of the infection and the extent of its spread determine the state of emergency. There are a few factors that can contribute to the progression of an infected root. According to a National Institute of Health article, “These factors include the local pH, abundance and partial pressure of oxygen, redox potential, availability of selective nutrients, and, last but not least, the state of local host defenses.” These factors are largely due to the infection but can also be caused by poor nutrition and dental hygiene.

Inflammation of the dental pulp and disease in the periapical tissues are caused by infectious microorganisms that can lead to many other health conditions. “Left untreated, exacerbating root canal infections can be an immediate threat to systemic health, with nearly 7,000 hospitalizations per annum reported in the US alone.” Associated symptoms and lifestyle changes, such as extreme prolonged pain, sleep disturbances, limited work ability, and difficulty performing tasks, often occur in emergency root canal cases.

Symptoms Indicating a Need for Emergency Root Canal

The most common self-diagnosing symptom of a tooth needing an emergency root canal is unbearable pain that is distinguishable from a normal toothache. Other signs include tooth discoloration, pus or fluid coming from the tooth, and tender or sore feeling when touched. In severe cases, patients may also start to experience:

  • Severe pain while chewing or biting
  • Pimples on the gums
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Deep decay or darkening of the gums

What the Procedure Entails

An emergency root canal procedure is similar to an ordinary root canal as the main priority is removing the infection. Emergency root canal cases may have a longer treatment time or require more sessions, depending on the severity. Prior to treatment, we will take X-rays of the tooth and roots to get a clearer picture while numbing the area with local anesthesia. The procedure consists of:

Minor Drilling:

create a small opening in the top of the tooth


remove nerves and parts of the root


thoroughly clean and fluoridate the pulp chamber and roots


fill in the root canals with a rubber-like material to seal them against future infection

Temporary Restoration:

a temporary filling is placed on to cap the tooth until permanent restoration is available

Schedule a Visit Today

Emergency root canal treatments are available at our office. The Sondra Avant DDS team looks forward to treating you and relieving your pain as soon as possible. Call our office at (386) 304-4620 to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Emergency Root Canals

When is an emergency root canal required?

An emergency root canal is most often required when a patient is at risk of losing a tooth due to severe decay or damage. An untreated tooth and root infection can lead to death and loss of the tooth, which is the most common reason for tooth extraction. Patients who may need an emergency root canal are usually in the final stage of infection and likely need to remove much of the tooth structure, requiring a crown or restoration.

How long does it take for a root canal to become an emergency case?

All root canal treatments vary as every patient, and every mouth is different. A root canal infection can progress quickly if the patient’s oral health is poor or they have other dental conditions. Also, a root canal infection can spread to other teeth and roots, causing more complications and further decay. If you suspect that your symptoms are worsening, we highly recommend coming in for a thorough examination.

How long does an emergency root canal procedure take?

An emergency root canal procedure takes about the same amount of time as a normal root canal. The entire process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes with more complex cases taking up to two hours. We can offer an estimated time after we review a patient’s case but the treatment could take longer than expected.

Can I drive after an emergency root canal?

Patients receiving a local anesthetic are fine to drive themselves home after treatment. We advise going directly home to rest as you may feel sore or weak after the numbing agent wears off. Patients receiving a sedative will need to have another person drive them home. The type of anesthetic or sedative will be discussed prior to treatment.

What happens after an emergency root canal treatment?

Following emergency root canal treatment, we advise patients against eating hard, sticky, spicy, or acidic foods, especially near the site area. It is important to properly maintain the temporary sealant in order to keep the roots and tissues away from bacteria and infection. If the temporary filling breaks or is removed, contact us as soon as possible. It is a good idea to avoid eating on the affected tooth until a permanent restoration is applied.

How can I avoid getting an emergency root canal?

An emergency root canal is often the result of neglect or improper oral maintenance. It can be avoided by brushing at least twice a day, flossing and rinsing daily, getting regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months, and eating a nutritious diet. Patients with mild pain or symptoms indicating decay should contact their dentist right away for treatments that can prevent the need for a root canal. Early signs of decay or damage can often be detected and treated before the infection spreads to the pulp or roots.

Contact Us

Sondra Avant DDS, MS, PA is located at
731 Dunlawton Ave Ste 105
Port Orange, FL

(386) 304-4620

We’re open and offering in-person and online consultations!