Root Canal Therapy in Gig Harbor, WA

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
man in a denim shirt sitting in a dental chair and smiling at the camera

What is Root Canal Therapy?

When tooth decay goes untreated, it can eat into the deepest parts of the tooth. This area is called the root canal. Sensitive, important tissues called the pulp are stored here and can cause intense pain if they’re infected.

Root canal therapy involves taking these infected tissues out of the tooth in order to preserve the natural tooth. The pain caused by infection will stop and your tooth will be saved from extraction.

Effects of Tooth Decay

If your tooth decay goes untreated for too long, it can spread from the root canal. You could develop swelling in the face, neck, or head and lose bone around the tooth root. Infection also causes extreme pain and impacts daily life.

Root canal therapy can prevent the infection from spreading to this point and alleviate any pain or discomfort in the area that you currently experience.

Signs You May need root canal Therapy

Symptoms of an infected root canal include:

  • A severe toothache that worsens when chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Darkening and discoloration of the tooth
  • Gums becoming swollen and tender

If you notice any of these symptoms, you may need root canal therpay.

Root Canal Procedure

Dr. Bloomquist will first take an X-ray to get a better look at the shape of your root canals. They’ll check to see how far the infection has spread and whether root canal therapy is the best option for you.

If your procedure is approved, you’ll be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. To help you relax more during your procedure, you may opt for sedation.

The dentist will then drill a small hole into the tooth and remove the infected pulp. The pulp will be replaced with a rubber compound to keep the tooth solid and prevent infection.

The exterior of the tooth will then be filled to make it secure. Some teeth may require additional support, though. To strengthen a tooth even more, Dr. Bloomquist may place a dental crown over the tooth.


Though we try our very best to preserve your natural tooth, sometimes a tooth is too severely infected to be saved. In this case, we’ll extract the tooth to prevent the spread of infection.

Among our services, we offer natural-looking dental implants to replace the tooth that’s extracted. Implants are designed to appear and function as normal teeth.

a man brushing his teeth with a blue toothbrush showing a kid with a green toothbrush how to brush

Frequently Asked Questions

Is root canal therapy the same as a root canal?
How long does a root canal take?
Is a root canal painful?
What happens during a root canal?
Is root canal therapy the same as a root canal?

A root canal is a common way of referring to root canal therapy. But a root canal is actually a part of your tooth that important and sensitive bundles of nerves called the pulp. This is the innermost part of your tooth and can be very painful when it’s infected.

To clear out the infection and relieve your pain, Dr. Bloomquist will drill a very small hole in your tooth. She’ll remove the infected pulp through the hole until all the pulp is gone, so your tooth can’t be infected again. In place of the pulp, your tooth will be filled with a material called gutta-percha.

How long does a root canal take?

Root canal therapy usually takes around 60 to 90 minutes for one tooth. If you have a complex root structure or have multiple teeth that need treatment, your procedure may take longer or you may need multiple visits to complete your root canal therapy.

Before your procedure, Dr. Bloomquist will scan your mouth to get an idea of the complexity of your root structure. Then, she can plan your procedure and let you know whether you’ll need more than one appointment and how long it may take.

Is a root canal painful?

While root canal therapy has a reputation for being painful, technology and techniques have advanced to increase your comfort during the procedure. Most patients compare root canal therapy to receiving a tooth filling.

Local anesthetic makes sure you don’t feel the procedure. But if you’re anxious about your root canal therapy or feel uncomfortable, Dr. Bloomquist can administer sedation. The sedation helps you to relax and dulls your senses, so the procedure will be more comfortable.

What happens during a root canal?

During root canal therapy, a tiny hole will be drilled into your tooth. This hole will go from the outermost layer, the enamel, down into the root canal. Through this hole, Dr. Bloomquist will remove all the infected tooth pulp that’s causing you pain and threatening your tooth.

After all the infected pulp is removed, your tooth is filled with a material called gutta-percha. The hole is sealed and Dr. Bloomquist often places a crown over the tooth to ensure it’s protected. If the treatment is successful, you’ll get to keep your natural tooth without having to worry about an infection.

Contact us
For relief

If you think you may be in need of root canal therapy, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’ll make sure your procedure is as comfortable as can be with our highly qualified staff and advanced technology. We’re convenient to patients from throughout the South Sound area at our Gig Harbor office.

You can call 253-857-4114 to reach us or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get right back to you.