When faced with tooth damage or tooth decay, emergency dental care is needed right away. These issues can leave your teeth vulnerable to further damage and the development of painful, dangerous infections. At The Dentists at North Cypress, we can treat a tooth infection, saving the affected tooth, with a root canal.
An infected tooth occurs when bacteria get inside of the tooth. However, how exactly do bacteria get inside in the first place? While your teeth look fairly simple from the outside, they are quite complex. The only part of your teeth that you see is the hard, protective outer layer called enamel. Below the enamel is the dentin. This layer has hollow channels that lead to the roots of your teeth. Below this layer is a hollow chamber called the pulp chamber. Soft tissue, called pulp, resides here.
The enamel layer of your teeth is the hardest substance in your body. Even so, it can still experience physical damage and decay. When this damage goes past the enamel and into the inner layers of the affected tooth, bacteria are given direct access inside. Bacteria that do enter the tooth begin to multiply. As they do, they begin to irritate the pulp, causing inflammation and pain. The longer the infection goes untreated, the worse it becomes. Bacteria can even begin to spill out through the root of the tooth, leading to the formation of an abscess.
There are many different symptoms that can indicate a tooth infection. A toothache is one of the most common symptoms. However, it is also possible for an infection to develop without experiencing any pain. Other symptoms of an infection include:
• Swelling in the jaw and face near the infected tooth.
• A chronic bad taste in your mouth.
• Lingering pain or sensitivity. This can indicate a dying nerve.
There are other signs that an infection can be present. These signs include an abscess and bone loss in your jaw. These signs, however, are generally only noticeable with a dental X-ray.
A root canal is a treatment designed to eliminate a tooth infection while avoiding the need for a tooth extraction and replacement. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth, and the entire interior is cleaned out and disinfected. Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, a crown is placed to provide protection as well as strength, allowing your tooth to function normally.
Root canals are often thought of as scary, painful procedures. This is not the case. Your root canal is performed under a local anesthetic, which ensures that you do not feel any pain. We can also provide sedation if you are feeling anxious. Sedation can help you to feel relaxed and comfortable while your treatment is performed.
A root canal begins with drilling a small hole in the top of the affected tooth. We then use small, specialized tools to remove the pulp and nerve. Next, the canals inside of the tooth are shaped. The area is cleaned and disinfected. We fill the space with gutta-percha, a material that seals the canals to prevent new bacterial invasion. Finally, a crown is placed over the tooth. This restoration helps to protect the tooth from harm and new infections, while also restoring its strength.
Treating an infected tooth with a root canal helps to restore your oral health and prevent the need for a tooth extraction and replacement. If you notice symptoms of a tooth infection, call The Dentists at North Cypress today at (281) 664-8100 to schedule your appointment.