Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth are the strongest substance in your body. They can withstand a significant amount of daily use. While incredibly strong, however, they are not impervious to harm. The teeth can be faced with decay or damage that not only affect the appearance of your teeth but their health as well. Severe damage can allow bacteria into the inner layers of the teeth, where they can lead to a serious, painful infection. At Beyond Dental and Implant Center, we can treat an infected tooth with root canal therapy.
How Does an Infection Develop in the Tooth?
Looking at your teeth in a mirror, they look fairly simple. However, the teeth are quite complex. Below the hard enamel layer is the dentin. This layer is hard, though not nearly as hard as the enamel, and contains a network of canals that lead to the roots of the teeth. Below the dentin is a chamber and the pulp, or soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels.
While the enamel is incredibly strong, it can still be damaged. When damage goes past the enamel and into the inner layers of the affected tooth, bacteria can then enter inside. Once inside, they begin to multiply, filling the interior of the tooth. The bacteria also begin attacking the pulp, causing irritation and inflammation that can lead to significant pain. When this happens, a root canal is needed.
How Do I Know I Have an Infection?
A severe toothache is often the biggest indication of a tooth infection. An infection can cause several other symptoms as well, including:
Diagnosing an Infection in Your Tooth
At the first sign of an infection, it is crucial that you call to schedule an appointment right away. Diagnosing the infection is necessary before treatment is provided. To diagnose the infection, we need to examine your mouth. We look over your teeth to check for signs of decay and damage. Your gums are examined for signs of redness and swelling. We also take x-rays, which will allow us to see issues such as root damage, bone loss, and abscesses. Once the infection is diagnosed, we can then formulate an effective treatment plan.
Undergoing Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is generally performed under a local anesthetic, although sedation can be provided if necessary. First, a small access hole is drilled into the top of the infected tooth. Next, we use small tools to remove the infected pulp and nerves. We shape the canals and clean them. The entire interior of the tooth is disinfected.
After the tooth is cleaned out, our next steps are to protect the tooth from further harm and restore its strength. The empty space inside the tooth is filled with a material called gutta percha. This material is placed to seal the canals, preventing new bacterial invasion. The tooth is also provided with a crown, which further helps to protect against bacteria while restoring the strength and functioning of the tooth. Root canal therapy has a high rate of success, and your treated tooth can go on to function normally for many years, even for a lifetime.
With root canal therapy, we can eliminate the infection inside of a tooth and restore the health of your mouth. If you suspect a tooth infection, call Beyond Dental and Implant Center today at (972) 591-7520 to schedule your consultation.