Let’s face it, seeing the dentist is not always a picnic. Your visit may involve needles, drills and other unpleasant dental tools. However, your visit can also lead to relief, especially if you have an infected tooth. In this case, your dentist can be your savior by stopping the pain, removing the infection and preserving the tooth. The procedure for this is called a root canal and we know this treatment has a bad reputation. But Dr. Courtney and her team are here to tell you that the reputation is not deserved. In truth, a root canal is no more uncomfortable and time-consuming that having a cavity filled. So, if you suspect that you might have a tooth infection, call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. This won’t hurt a bit… really!
Each tooth in your mouth is comprised of a portion that is visible—the crown—and a part that hides below the gum line—the root. Inside each root are root canals where the nerve of a tooth runs. Normally this space is well protected by the surrounding layers of enamel and dentin. However, when tooth decay is left untreated or when a penetrating crack or another type of injury exposes this area, bacteria can build up here and lead to infection.
Unfortunately, the leading indicator of a root canal infection is usually excruciating pain. Inflammation as a result of the infection builds inside the tooth and the consequential pressure is often unbearable.
Other signs of an infected tooth include:
When you come to visit Upper Arlington dentist Dr. Courtney for a root canal, the first step is making sure you are comfortable and that the tooth and surrounding tissue are adequately anesthetized. Then, using a series of special dental files, the infection and contents of your tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals are removed and the space is disinfected. Fortunately, a tooth can function perfectly fine without the nerve. The space is filled with a biocompatible substance called gutta-percha that prevents re-infection and supports the remaining tooth structure. If necessary, Dr. Courtney may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic. The tooth is sealed and given time to heal before a crown is placed to protect the tooth and restore natural form.
Contact your Upper Arlington dentist today if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above that could be a sign of root canal infection.