Root Canal Therapy
Symptoms of an Infection in Your Tooth
An infection inside your tooth can present a variety of different symptoms:
Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth consist of two layers. The outer layer, the enamel, is hard and mineralized. The inner layer contains hollow canals that lead to the root of the tooth. It also houses the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. The enamel is designed to protect the interior of the teeth. However, in the event that the enamel is damaged, bacteria can enter into the affected tooth. Bacteria can also enter a tooth as the result of gum disease. Once inside, the bacteria begin to multiply and irritate the pulp. As a result, the pulp becomes inflamed and you start to experience pain. Once an infection is inside the tooth, the only way to remove it is with root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy is a treatment that is performed to remove an infection from the interior of your tooth, allowing you to avoid the need for a tooth extraction. In order to remove the infection, the pulp is removed and the entire inside of the tooth is disinfected. In order to do this effectively, the hollow canals inside the tooth, where bacteria can easily hide, need to be shaped, making them easier to clean. Root canal therapy ends with a crown on the treated tooth. The purpose of the crown is to provide the tooth with strength and prevent a new infection from occurring.
How is Root Canal Therapy Done?
Before treating an infection, we first perform a thorough oral exam. The exam is designed to diagnose the infection (or other issue that is plaguing your mouth). We visually inspect the inside of your mouth, checking your teeth and gums for signs of damage, decay, and infection. We also take x-rays, which will provide us with insight as to what is happening below the gum line. X-rays can show us damage below the gum line as well as the presence of an abscess.
Once we have diagnosed an infection, then we can begin root canal therapy. We start by giving you a local anesthetic. If necessary, sedation may also be used. We then drill a small hole in the top of the tooth. Using small, specialized tools, we remove the pulp of the tooth. We then shape the canals and clean and disinfect the interior. The empty space is filled with a material called gutta percha. Finally, the tooth is capped with a dental crown. If you suspect an infection inside your tooth, don’t ignore the symptoms. Contact Jon C. Packman DDS to schedule your consultation today.