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On the surface, your teeth appear very simple. The only part of the tooth visible to the naked eye is the hard, protective enamel. The enamel protects the complex inner layers, which contain hollow canals and soft tissue called pulp. The pulp of the teeth contains both blood vessels and nerves. While the enamel is strong, it is not impervious to damage. If your teeth do suffer damage or decay, bacteria can enter the inner layers of the teeth. When this happens, your teeth can develop a serious infection that can impact both your oral health as well as your whole body health. At Bisson Dentistry, we can remove an infection from the interior of your teeth, restoring your health, with root canal therapy.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy is a treatment designed to remove an infection from the inside of a tooth. By removing the infection, we can restore the health of the tooth. The procedure also helps to avoid the need to have the tooth extracted, which would then require a tooth replacement. To completely remove the infection, we also need to remove the pulp of the tooth as well as the nerves inside. To protect the tooth following this procedure, and prevent a new infection from occurring, the treated tooth is capped with a dental crown.
Do I need a root canal?
Root canal therapy is performed if an infection occurs inside of a tooth. However, how do the bacteria get inside in the first place? There are several different ways in which bacteria can enter the tooth, including chips, cracks, tooth decay, and gum disease. Once inside the tooth, the bacteria quickly begin to multiply. They fill up the canals of the tooth and attack the pulp. The pulp becomes irritated and inflamed, leading to severe pain. Infections in the teeth do not clear up on their own. The longer they go untreated, the worse they become.
Symptoms of an Infection in a Tooth
There are several symptoms of an infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek dental treatment right away.
• Severe pain in the tooth.
• Facial swelling near the infected tooth.
• Lingering pain or sensitivity.
• Your jaw begins to lose bone mass.
• Dental abscesses. An abscess occurs when the bacteria in the tooth begin to spill out into the jawbone through the root of the tooth. It forms to contain the bacteria and prevent their spread. Abscesses continue to grow when they are not treated, causing damage to the jaw.
Diagnosis and Treatment of a Tooth Infection
Diagnosing infection in your tooth involves a thorough oral exam. We visually inspect your teeth and gums, looking for signs of damage and swelling. We also take x-rays, which allow us to see the areas of your mouth under the gums. We can see the condition of your jawbone and check for abscesses.
After diagnosing the infection, treatment begins. We start with a local anesthetic. If you are feeling anxious, we can also provide sedation as well, which will help you to relax during root canal therapy. A small hole is drilled at the top of the affected tooth, which provides us access to the interior. Using small, specialized tools, we remove the pulp and the nerve. The canals inside the tooth are shaped, and the entire interior is cleaned and disinfected. The tooth is filled with a material called gutta percha. Finally, we prepare the tooth and place a dental crown, which helps to provide the tooth with additional strength and protect it from new infections.
If you are experiencing symptoms of an infection, it is important to seek treatment right away. Call Bisson Dentistry for more information and to schedule your appointment today at (226) 299-0713
Whether you’re a long-term patient or are in search of a new dental office in Guelph, we’ll help you schedule your first appointment over the phone or by submitting an appointment form online. Make sure to arrive early so we can get you set up in our system and proceed with your exam and cleaning.
We look forward to seeing you!