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If you have recently experienced a severe pain or dull ache in one of your teeth, or have noticed that it is uncomfortable or painful to bite on, then it’s possible the tooth could have become infected. This is where bacteria in the mouth can enter the tooth, reaching the pulp in the very central part of the tooth and which contains all the nerves. These nerves extend right down into the root canals in the roots of the tooth.
Luckily, with prompt treatment an infected tooth can often be saved with root canal therapy which is also called endodontics. This treatment is highly skilled but our dentist Dr. Kira Gekht is very experienced in this procedure. She will take every precaution when planning and carrying out this treatment to ensure its success. If your tooth infection is more complex or if the infection has occurred in a tooth that has previously been root treated, Simply Smiles may refer you to a specialist called an endodontist.
How Can Inflammation and Infection Occur in the Root Canal?
An infected tooth can often occur if you have untreated tooth decay or a crumbling filling. Trauma to a tooth that has resulted in it becoming chipped or cracked can allow bacteria to infect the tooth. Bacteria can also get into a tooth if you have a leaky crown. During the early stages of infection a tooth may have very few symptoms and you may not have any pain. You might notice the affected tooth looks a darker color than before as the nerves in the tooth begin to die.
Why is Root Canal Treatment Necessary?
The infection and inflammation in the tooth cannot be left untreated as it will spread out through the tooth roots, causing pain and increasing the risk of an abscess. Without prompt treatment then we may have to remove the tooth.
How Can Root Canal Treatment Save a Tooth?
During a root canal treatment Dr. Kira Gekht will carefully remove the dead or dying pulp and will thoroughly clean out each root canal, shaping them using special files to help eradicate bacteria. Some teeth may have several root canals and it is vital that all infected tissues are removed. Next, the area is disinfected and a temporary filling is placed. If the infection was particularly severe, then topical antibiotics may be used to help eliminate bacteria.
You will need to return to Simply Smiles at a later date, at which stage Dr. Gekht will check all the infection is gone before restoring your tooth with a crown. It is generally necessary to crown teeth that have been root treated as they are often badly damaged. A crown prevents bacteria from entering the tooth and will allow you to use it normally.
What are the Benefits of Saving an Infected Tooth?
Tooth extraction is always the last resort here at Simply Smiles as we much prefer to restore your natural teeth. A restored tooth has the following benefits:
- Your tooth will be strong enough for you to bite and chew normally
- Your tooth will look natural
- Your neighboring teeth will be protected against excessive wear and tear, and against tooth movement
With endodontic treatment, you will be able to continue enjoying the benefits of having your natural teeth. Provided you care for your root treated tooth correctly, it could last for many years. We make every effort to ensure root canal treatment is comfortable and effective.
If you do have a nagging toothache, please contact Simply Smiles on 941-921-4654 to book your consultation, as treatment is more successful the sooner it is carried out and of course your tooth will feel considerably more comfortable. After an examination, Dr. Gekht will discuss all your options.