One of the most dreaded treatments for dental patients is root canal treatment. However, it is also the most effective treatment for saving an infected tooth. The truth is, root canal treatment is not dreadful at all. In fact, it is the method in which the pain of an abscessed tooth is alleviated.
The enamel of the tooth is very hard; however, bacteria can adhere to it, especially in the grooves and fissures of the tooth and cause decay to develop. The decay moves slowly through the enamel part of the tooth and is often detected and stopped with regular general dentistry. If it is not caught early, it moves to the next layer called the dentin, which is softer than the enamel. Here the decay can spread much faster.
A cavity can look small on the outside of the tooth, but an X-ray may reveal a much larger problem beneath the surface. As the decay spreads through the dentin, it will eventually reach the pulp of the tooth. This is the nerve center of the tooth. When the decay reaches this area, the tooth begins to die. The nerve reacts, swelling ensues as an abscess forms on the base of the tooth, and excruciating pain can be the result. Root canal treatment cleans out the infected nerve and stops the pain.
When a tooth is so badly infected, toxins form dissolving the bone around the abscess. Swelling causes discomfort, and the toxins can enter the bloodstream. Root canal treatment relieves the pain and discomfort by removing the infected nerve and the abscess. Once the nerve and all bacteria are cleaned from the canal, it is filled with a special substance to keep bacteria out. Then the remainder of the tooth is cleaned out and filled with an appropriate filling material. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may receive a prescription for antibiotics and pain medication.
It is always best to keep your natural teeth when possible. Root canal treatment prevents unnecessary loss of teeth. Sometimes the decay involvement makes extraction of the tooth the only option. However, when an infected tooth can be saved by root canal treatment, it is better to save it.
If you have tooth pain, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. We perform gentle, effective root canal treatment to restore smiles and provide real.