An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by cavity causing bugs that penetrate the nerve canal of the tooth. This infection can only be removed by extracting the tooth or performing root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to remove infection from the soft center of a tooth and save the rest of the tooth by placing a crown over the damaged portion to provide adequate protection.
Why would someone need root canal treatment?
Tooth decay or cavity and trauma can break through the hard outer layers of a tooth, exposing the inner softer layer of tooth to bacteria and infection. Some toothaches or gum pain are actually symptoms of an infection inside a tooth, called an abscess. If there is infection in the soft center of a tooth, it has to be stopped from spreading to the gums and the rest of the mouth. If left untreated, a spreading infection can cause damage to other teeth, your gums and jawbone, and even spread through your body. Root canal treatment can avoid these severe complications and salvage the tooth to prevent tooth loss.
Some common signs of needing a root canal treatment:
- Constant Pain
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Tenderness to touch and chewing
- Discoloration of the tooth that is persistent, most commonly after trauma
- Drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues
What is a root canal?
The purpose of Root canal treatment is to remove the bacteria that have penetrated through the nerve of the tooth and debride any and all infected tissue to create a healthy and sterile environment which is then filled with sterile material called gutta purcha. As previously mentioned, a full coverage crown is necessary to prevent future fracture of the tooth by providing adequate protection. Root canal is a common dental treatment designed to save a tooth. Your Pingree Grove dentist Dr. Lucy Shah and Dr. Jignesh Patel both perform root canal treatment when necessary and utilizing the latest rotary technology, the procedure is completed with minimal discomfort and often times in one visit. Since the procedure actually saves much of the original tooth structure, it is a much better and healthier option for the patient than having the tooth removed.
What are my alternatives to root canal treatment?
If you have an abscessed or infected tooth, the infection must be removed to stop it from spreading. The only alternative to a root canal is removal of the tooth.
While tooth extraction may seem initially like the least expensive option, your Pingree Grove dentist will probably recommend replacing the extracted tooth for restoring form, function and to prevent shifting of surrounding teeth. An extracted tooth that is not replaced can leave a gap that causes problems for the surrounding teeth and potentially affect your bite. If root canal is an option, it may end up being less expensive than extracting and replacing that same tooth with a partial denture, bridge or a dental implant which is much more costly. Nonetheless, all of your treatment options will be discussed prior to starting any treatment.
Call us at (847) 462-4330 today for more information and to schedule an appointment.
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