Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth have many important responsibilities. They are also incredibly strong. However, they are not immune to harm. The teeth can be damaged, either by physical forces or by decay. This damage not only affects the appearance of your smile, but it can also put your oral, and overall, health in jeopardy. Damage can lead to painful infections in the teeth. In the event of a tooth infection, Bijan Family Dental Practice can provide treatment with root canal therapy.
The Layers of Your Teeth
Upon first glance, your teeth look quite simple. All you see when you look at your teeth in the mirror is the outermost layer. This is the enamel. It is the hardest substance in your body, even harder than your bones. Below the enamel is the dentin. While hard, it is not as hard as the enamel. It also houses hollow canals that lead to the root of the tooth. At the center of the tooth is a chamber and soft tissue called pulp.
The Development of a Tooth Infection
Despite its strength, the enamel can still be damaged. If this damage goes past the enamel and into the inner layers of the tooth, bacteria can get inside. Once there, the bacteria quickly multiply and irritate the pulp, leading to a serious infection. As the infection grows, bacteria can spill out of the root and into the jawbone, causing an abscess to form. If the abscess ruptures, bacteria can enter into the bloodstream. There, it can travel throughout the body, causing serious health issues such as heart disease and stroke.
How Do I Know I Have an Infection?
A painful toothache is often a major indication that there is an infection present. There are other symptoms that may appear as well. These include:
Diagnosing an Infected Tooth
At the first sign of a tooth infection, it is important to schedule an appointment right away. We perform a thorough oral exam to determine the cause of your symptoms. This involves looking at the visible structures of your mouth as well as taking dental x-rays. We check your teeth for signs of damage and decay and look over your gums for signs of redness and swelling. With x-rays, we can see any damage between your teeth, damage to the roots of your teeth, bone loss, and dental abscesses. If we determine there is an infection present, we then formulate a customized treatment plan.
Root Canal Therapy
Dealing with a tooth infection involves root canal therapy. This procedure is done under a local anesthetic. If you are feeling anxious, we can provide you with sedation. First, a small access hole is drilled into the top of the tooth. Next, we use small tools to remove the infected pulp and the nerve. We then shape the canals in the tooth and clean out the entire interior. Once the tooth has been disinfected, we fill the empty space with a special material called gutta percha. This material seals the canals, helping to prevent future issues. Finally, the tooth is provided with a dental crown. The crown further helps to prevent new infections while restoring normal function of the tooth.
Root canal therapy can eliminate an infection in your tooth, alleviating your pain and restoring the health of your mouth. If you suspect an infection, call Bijan Family Dental Practice at (714) 421-4494 to schedule your appointment today.