When you have an infected tooth from decay, trauma, or gum disease your body reacts as it normally does to fight an infection.
White blood cells and antibodies are sent to attack the infection, but there is not enough room in your tooth for them.
The swelling and pressure inside cause the tooth pulp—which contains living tissue, blood vessels, and nerves—to not be vital.
The infection travels into the root canals of the tooth, reaches the bone at the tip of the roots, and an abscess forms. Root canal treatment is needed to remove the infection and save the tooth.
If the infection is not treated, it can spread to other teeth, into your jawbone, and in severe cases, into your bloodstream.
It can become life threatening.
What’s the Root Canal Process?
Let’s start by reassuring you that your root canal treatment will be comfortable and pain free.
Local anesthetic will be used to numb the affected area.
- A small opening will be made in your tooth to access the pulp and root canals.
- We will clean out the dead pulp tissue and roots, into the very tips of the roots. It won’t be painful because the area will be numb. Also, when the pulp and its nerves are removed, you can’t feel pain anyway.
- The canals will be disinfected and washed clean to remove any debris.
- A dental filler material will be used to fill the canal space and keep bacteria out.
- Our doctors will seal the access hole in the tooth.
- You may be given an antibiotic to further treat the infection and ensure it is eliminated.
- We will ensure that your discomfort after the procedure is very minimal. Some patients don’t feel any discomfort at all.
Root canal treatment should not be delayed. If you think you have a tooth infection, schedule an appointment right away.
Some of the symptoms of an infected tooth are listed below:
- Persistent toothache
- Swollen gums, pimple, drainage around a tooth
- Pain when chewing
- Unusual and prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold
As the affected area heals, you may feel some tenderness for a few days.
Your follow-up appointments are important to ensure the tooth is healing properly. After your tooth heals, don’t neglect the final restoration.
Properly restoring it—usually with a dental crown—protects the weakened tooth from damage and future infection. Although the tooth was infected, if properly restored, it can last as long as your healthy teeth. We provide natural-looking dental crowns that match the color and characteristics of your own teeth.
Stages of a Root Canal:
©2019 American Dental Association