Root Canal Therapy
While the teeth are the strongest substance in the human body, they are not invincible. Physical damage, such as facial trauma, and decay can compromise the strength of your teeth and leave them susceptible to serious harm that can impact not only the health of your mouth but your overall health as well. When the teeth are compromised, they are left vulnerable to painful tooth infections. At West End Dental, we can treat infections in your teeth with root canals.
How Do Teeth Become Infected?
When you look at your teeth in the mirror, you only see one part of them. All you see is the hard, protective outer layer, or enamel layer. Underneath the enamel, there is a layer known as dentin. This layer is also hard, though not as hard as the enamel. The dentin contains hollow canals that lead to the roots of the teeth. Below the dentin is a hollow chamber, which houses soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves.
While the enamel is incredibly hard, it can still be damaged or develop decay. If the damage extends into the inner layers of your teeth, bacteria can then enter inside. The bacteria then begin to multiply inside the tooth where they begin to attack the pulp. The pulp becomes irritated and inflamed, which can lead to significant pain. As the bacteria multiply, they can begin to spill out into the root of the tooth, causing the formation of an abscess. If an abscess ruptures, the bacteria contained inside can then enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.
Symptoms of a Tooth Infection
There are multiple symptoms that can point toward a tooth infection.
How is an Infection Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing symptoms of an infection, it is essential that you schedule an appointment right away. During this exam, we look over your teeth and gums, checking for signs of tooth damage, decay, and swollen tissue. Also part of diagnosing a tooth infection is dental X-rays. X-rays allow us to see below the gum line. We can spot root damage, bone loss, and abscesses. Once we have diagnosed a tooth infection, we are then able to formulate a treatment plan that will provide you with the best results possible.
Treating a Tooth Infection with a Root Canal
A root canal is a treatment used to eliminate infection from the interior of a tooth, restoring your oral health and preserving the tooth, avoiding the need for a tooth extraction. The procedure is done under a local anesthetic. Sedation can be provided if necessary to help you relax. The procedure begins with a small access hole drilled into the tooth. Next, small, specialized tools are used to remove the pulp and the nerve of the tooth. The canals inside the tooth are shaped and cleaned, and the entire interior of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. Next, a material called gutta percha is placed inside the empty space. This material seals the canals, providing them with protection. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth. This crown protects the tooth, preventing a new infection from occurring. The crown also aids in restoring strength to the tooth, allowing it to function normally.
Root canal treatment not only eliminates an infection from a tooth but also enables the treated tooth to function normally. If you suspect an infection in your tooth, call West End Dental at (503) 446-2957 to schedule your appointment today.
WE TREAT OUR PATIENTS WITH RESPECTWe believe in educating patients about their treatment options and listening to their questions and concerns.
WE BELIEVE IN HEALTHY TEETH FIRSTWe focus on prevention so that you keep your smile healthy. We provide excellent comfortable care for all procedures.