When a tooth becomes badly damaged to the point that a dental crown can’t save it, is extraction the only option left? Not necessarily. At Fremaux Dental, our team may be able to perform root canal therapy as a saving grace that helps you maintain your natural smile. During this procedure, Dr. Beard will carefully remove pulp and bacteria from the inner portion of the tooth. A restoration may be created and placed as well to protect the treated tooth and restore its function.
How Does a Tooth Become Infected?
In order to understand how your tooth became infected, let’s first take a look at the structure of a tooth. Every tooth in your mouth is covered with two protective layers. The outer most layer is enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. Underneath that is dentin, a slightly softer material that transmits sensations such as hot and cold temperatures to the nerve deep inside a tooth.
Although both enamel and dentin are quite hard, they are susceptible to the acids produced by oral bacteria. These acids can begin to erode the enamel and cause a cavity. If not treated, the cavity can enlarge and give bacteria access to the innermost portion of the tooth called the pulp chamber. Similarly, a penetrating crack or serious fracture may also expose the chamber.
What Happens When There is Bacteria Inside a Tooth?
Once bacteria reach the pulp chamber—which contains nerve, blood and lymph tissue—infection begins to set in and spread down through the canals that extend to the tip of each root. As infection develops, the tooth begins to die. At this point, extraction or a root canal is the remedy. If possible, Dr. Beard always prefers to perform a root canal in order to preserve your natural tooth.
How Do I Know if a Tooth is Infected?
Unfortunately, the most common symptom of infection is a severe toothache. As the infection expands within the confines of your tooth, the pain may become almost unbearable.
Other signs and symptoms include:
-A sore on your gums near the infected tooth
-Swelling around the tooth
-Pus around the tooth
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Unlike what you may have heard about a root canal, the procedure is not painful. In fact, a root canal is performed to eliminate the discomfort of an infected tooth. And with the help of modern day anesthesia as well as sedation dentistry, you can relax while Dr. Beard takes good care of your tooth.
Through a small access hole, Dr. Beard uses special dental files to remove the infection as well as the tissue contents of the chamber and canals. The interior of the tooth is then disinfected and filled with a biocompatible substance. Finally, the hole is sealed and the tooth is prepared to eventually receive a dental crown. A restoration may be created and placed as well to protect the treated tooth and restore its function.
Think you may need a root canal?
Contact our state-of-the-art practice here in Slidell, LA today to schedule an appointment to investigate your tooth pain. Don't suffer in silence, contact our office today for a consultation!