Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth are the strongest substance in your body. They also see a substantial amount of daily use. Important for biting, chewing, speaking, a healthy jawbone, and a beautiful smile, your teeth see a lot. Even though they are incredibly strong, they can still be faced with issues that can compromise their strength and can be faced with painful tooth infections. At Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry, we can treat tooth infections with root canal therapy.
How Do I Get a Tooth Infection?
Despite looking simple from the outside, your teeth consist of several layers. The outermost layer, or enamel, is the only layer that you see. This layer is the hardest substance in your body and is incredibly strong. Under the enamel is the dentin, a hard layer, though not as hard as your enamel, that contains hollow canals that lead to the roots of your teeth. Below this layer is a hollow chamber that houses soft tissue called pulp.
While the enamel is incredibly strong, issues such as physical trauma and decay can leave the inner layers exposed to bacteria. The bacteria can enter into the inner layers of your teeth, where they can take up residence inside the hollow canals. From there, the bacteria can begin to attack the pulp of the affected tooth, leading to inflammation and severe pain. As the bacteria multiply, they can begin to spill out through the root of the tooth and into the bone, leading to an abscess. An abscess is a barrier that forms in an attempt to contain the bacteria. The longer the infection goes untreated, the larger the abscess grows. It is even at risk to rupture, which can then allow bacteria into your bloodstream, where it can contribute to serious health complications.
How Do I Know if I Have an Infection?
A painful toothache is only one symptom of a tooth infection. Other symptoms include
Providing Treatment with Root Canal Therapy
When you notice any symptoms of a tooth infection, it is essential that you schedule an appointment right away. We will perform a thorough exam, complete with dental X-rays, which enable us to determine the presence of an infection. If an infection is confirmed, we then formulate an effective treatment plan and schedule you for your root canal.
A root canal is a procedure performed under a local anesthetic. Sedation may also be provided if you are feeling anxious or fearful about your procedure. We begin by drilling a small hole in the top of the tooth, which provides us access to the inside. Small, specialized tools are used to remove the infected pulp and the nerve of the tooth.
Next, we shape and clean the canals, and disinfect the entire inside of the tooth. This eliminates any bacteria that might still be present. We then fill the inside of the tooth with a special material known as gutta-percha, which seals the canals. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth, which prevents a new infection from occurring and restores the strength of the tooth so that it can function normally once again.
With a root canal, we can eliminate a painful, dangerous infection, preventing serious consequences and restoring your oral health. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry at (623) 562-5230 today.