Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth are the strongest substance in your body, but issues like physical trauma and decay can leave them vulnerable to serious problems. Damaged teeth are not only at risk for further harm, but they are also at risk for developing painful, dangerous infections. When an infection occurs, treatment is needed right away. At Raptou Family Dental, we can provide treatment for tooth infections with root canal therapy.
The Layers of Your Teeth
At first glance, your teeth look fairly simple. This is because you only see the enamel when you look in the mirror. The enamel is only one layer of your teeth. Underneath the hard, exterior layer lies the dentin. This layer is also hard, though not as hard as your enamel. It also contains the hollow canals that lead to the tooth roots. Below the dentin is a chamber, which houses the soft tissue called pulp. This soft tissue contains blood vessels and nerves and enables you to feel pain and sense temperature.
How Does an Infection Develop?
Infections develop in your teeth when bacteria can make their way inside. This frequently occurs due to tooth damage, such as a crack or chip that extends past the enamel and into the inner layers. Once inside, the bacteria begin to multiply and irritate the pulp. This irritation leads to inflammation and significant tooth pain. Without treatment, the bacteria continue to multiply and can eventually spill out through the root of the tooth. This leads to the formation of an abscess. The abscess can grow larger the longer your tooth goes without treatment, and can even rupture.
What Are the Symptoms of an Infected Tooth?
A severe toothache is one of the most common indications of a tooth infection. However, it is not the only one. Other signs and symptoms of a tooth infection include:
Diagnosing an Infected Tooth
Before we can provide you with treatment, we first need to perform an oral examination to diagnose the infection. We begin by visually inspecting your teeth and gums, looking for signs of damage, decay, redness, and swelling. We also take digital X-rays, which allow us to see issues between your teeth as well as below your gum line. We can spot hidden tooth damage, bone loss, and abscesses. Once a diagnosis has been made, we can then create a customized treatment plan.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a procedure that is performed to eliminate an infection inside of your tooth, restoring its health and preventing the need for an extraction. The procedure is done under a local anesthetic. If necessary, sedation may also be provided to help you feel more comfortable. Root canal therapy begins with a small access hole drilled into the top of the tooth. We then use small, specialized tools to remove the infected pulp and the nerve of the tooth. Next, the canals are shaped, and the entire interior of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. We then place a special material called gutta percha into the empty space. This material fills the interior of the tooth and seals the canals. Finally, a crown is placed to provide the tooth with additional protection while also restoring its strength. Learn more about after root canal therapy and How Long Does a Root Canal Last.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a tooth infection, it is essential that you schedule an appointment right away. Call Raptou Family Dental today at (614) 427-0449 to learn more.