Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth are incredibly strong. They are the strongest substance in your body. However, despite their strength, they can still be faced with physical damage and decay, both of which can significantly impact your oral health. These issues can lead to painful infections in your teeth, which can further compromise your oral health as well as your whole-body health. If you suspect a tooth infection, it is important to get treatment immediately. Sunnyside Dentistry can help with root canal therapy.
The Different Layers of Your TeethAt first glance, your teeth look fairly simple. The only part of your teeth you see is the outermost layer. This protective layer, the enamel, is the hardest substance in your body. Underneath the enamel is the dentin. This layer is also quite hard, though not as hard as the enamel. It contains hollow canals that lead to the roots of the teeth. Below the dentin is a hollow chamber that contains the pulp. The pulp is soft tissue that has blood vessels and nerves.
How an Infection DevelopsWhile the enamel is exceptionally hard, it is not indestructible. Dental trauma, which can result from a fall or a sports injury, or tooth decay can harm the enamel. If the damage or decay enters into the inner layers of your teeth, bacteria can get inside. Once in the tooth, bacteria begin to multiply. They irritate the pulp, causing it to become inflamed. Without treatment, an infection only continues to grow. The bacteria can spill out through the root of the tooth, leading to the formation of an abscess. An abscess is a sac that forms to contain the bacteria. Abscesses can continue to grow larger and may even rupture, allowing bacteria into the bloodstream.
Symptoms of an Infected ToothThere are several symptoms that can point toward a tooth infection. Common symptoms include:
How an Infection is DiagnosedIf you notice any symptoms of a tooth infection, it is essential that you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. With a thorough oral examination, we can diagnose your infection and then provide you with the treatment you need. First, we start by looking over the visible structures in your mouth. We check your teeth for signs of damage and decay. The gums are checked for redness and swelling. We also take X-rays of your mouth. These images can show us root damage, bone loss, and abscesses that we cannot otherwise see with the naked eye. Once we have diagnosed your infection, we are then able to provide you with an effective treatment plan.
Treating Your Tooth Infection with Root Canal TherapyRoot canal therapy is a common treatment for eliminating an infection inside of a tooth, alleviating your pain and restoring your oral health. The procedure is done under a local anesthetic. Sedation may be an option for those who are anxious or nervous. A small access hole is drilled into the tooth. Small tools are used to remove the pulp and the nerve inside the tooth. Next, the canals are shaped and cleaned. The entire interior of the tooth is disinfected. We then fill in the empty space with a special material that helps to seal the canals. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth to restore strength to the tooth and provide it with additional protection.
With root canal therapy, we can eliminate an infection inside your tooth, alleviating your pain and restoring your oral health. Call Sunnyside Dentistry today at (503) 451-5104 to learn more and schedule your appointment.