There are few things in life more painful than an infected tooth. The discomfort caused by an abscessed tooth can make it seem as though the only cure is extraction. However, in many instances, the healthier option is to save the tooth with a root canal in Sugar Land. This general dentistry procedure may be one of dentistry’s most misunderstood treatments. In fact, because it saves the natural tooth, root canal therapy is a better option whenever there is enough healthy tooth remaining.
Root canal therapy is a simple, effective procedure that eliminates pain and disease in the infected tooth and restores healthy, natural function without affecting adjacent teeth. When a tooth is removed, many changes take place over time at the extraction site, including bone resorption and movement of adjacent teeth to fill in the gap of the missing tooth. Root canal therapy saves the natural tooth by removing the infection, keeps your smile looking natural and helps maintain your oral health.
Root Canals Are Not Painful – Infected Teeth Are Painful!
Tooth decay begins when harmful bacteria build up on the tooth surface. These bacteria feed off the sugars you consume and leftover food debris, creating acid that dissolves tooth enamel. Once the acid eats through the outside of the tooth, it spreads to the next layer. This is the dentin, and it is not quite as hard as the enamel on the outside of the tooth; this is the hardest substance in the human body, including bone. Some individuals may feel discomfort at this stage of decay and the tooth may be sensitive to changes in temperature. Decay can spread quickly through the inner layer of dentin until it reaches the nerve center, or pulp, of the tooth.
Once decay reaches the pulp, the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth become involved and begin to die. Infection builds as these soft tissues in the tooth become necrotic. An abscess may form at the apex, or end, of the tooth root. An abscess is a sac full of pus, bacteria and harmful toxins created when your body tries to fight off the destructive bacteria. The infection must be stopped before it causes more serious complications.
By this time, most people feel severe pain. You may also feel throbbing. The pain increases dramatically with hot or cold foods and beverages. Pressure on the tooth may also cause discomfort. Sweets cannot be tolerated, as they produce incredible pain if they come in contact with the infected tooth.
If there is enough healthy tooth structure remaining, your dentist may suggest root canal therapy to save your tooth. Extraction is required in severe cases where there is little or no healthy tooth structure to salvage.
Root Canal Treatment
The first step in this procedure is getting the infection under control. In acute situations, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to control the infection and drain the abscess. This should reduce pain and discomfort. The pulp of the infected tooth is removed and the canal holding the pulp is thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected. Once all the necrotic tissue has been removed, an inert material is placed in the canal and it is sealed off to prevent bacteria from reentering. After the canal is sealed, the cavity is filled.
In most cases, the dentist will recommend the tooth be crowned. Removal of the nerve center of a tooth eliminates the natural nourishment that gives it life and the tooth can become brittle. A crown restores strength and stability and protects the tooth from damage.
Root canal therapy eliminates the infection, pain and discomfort of an infected tooth. The procedure is a simple and efficient method of preserving a tooth that has been severely damaged or compromised by decay.
Your Sugar Land dentist with the Avalon Dental Group will ensure that your experience with root canal therapy is as comfortable and relaxing as possible with minimal pain or discomfort. Sedation is available for patients suffering from dental anxiety. Prevent tooth loss from severely damaged or decayed teeth by scheduling an appointment with the Avalon Dental Group.