Inside of each of your teeth is a pulp chamber in which can be found the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that help the roots of your teeth grow during development. When the pulp in this chamber becomes infected – known as an abscess tooth – it becomes necessary to remove the infection in order to prevent tooth loss and other potentially serious consequences. The procedure to remove infection is known as root canal therapy or, more commonly, a root canal, and it is a safe, effective, and quick way to preserve the quality and appearance of your smile.
Symptoms of Tooth Infection
Symptoms that indicate a root canal may be necessary include:
- Throbbing toothache
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Heightened sensitivity to heat and cold
- Persistent bad breath
- Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck
- Facial swelling
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you likely have an abscessed tooth. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the jaw and throughout the face, resulting in systemic infection. An untreated tooth abscess can also result in tooth loss, necessitating advanced restorative services to preserve the quality and function of the smile.
Dental Profiles recommend you call our office right away if you notice any of the above symptoms. We can perform an examination, determine if infection is present, and take appropriate action to protect your smile and your body from the dangers of untreated tooth infection.
The Root Canal Procedure
To perform a root canal, a small access hole will first need to be made. Through this hole, debris and infection can easily be removed. Once removed, the pulp chamber is filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The same material is used to seal the small access hole. When necessary, antibiotics may be injected into the tooth as well, but this is not needed for every root canal procedure.
After the tooth has been cleaned and sealed, a dental crown is used to protect it from further damage. The dental crowns offered at our clinic are shaped, colored, and sized to fit perfectly into your smile, working to protect the weakened tooth without compromising aesthetics.
While conventional knowledge holds that a root canal is unpleasant, the treatment is no more uncomfortable than a traditional filling. Far from causing pain, root canal procedures relieve pain and prevent future discomforts as well. However, if you are nervous about having a root canal, we would be happy to discuss sedation dentistry options during your treatment consultation.