A root canal can become infected when decay reaches the inner pulp of a tooth or when a bacterial infection forms inside the tooth or at the root tip. When this happens, root canal treatment may be recommended by our dentist.
When the inner portion of a tooth becomes damaged by infection or decay, root canal treatment may be used to save the tooth from extraction. The treatment involves removing the infected living material inside the tooth and replacing it with medicated fillings. By doing this, a tooth has its function and appearance restored and its original structure retained.
There are many symptoms of a root canal infection, such as:
- Severe toothache
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
- Inflamed and tender gums
- Recurring abscess on the gums
The first step when conducting root canal treatment is to use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the immediate area around it. To prevent the infection from spreading, a rubber sheet is placed around the tooth. This also keeps the tooth dry throughout the procedure. Next, the inner area of the tooth is accessed, and any infected pulp, damaged nerve tissue, and visible decay are removed using specialized dental tools.
Once the tooth is free of any unwanted material, it is thoroughly cleaned and sealed with a filling substance. To protect the tooth from fractures, a temporary crown will be applied. The patient will be required to make a follow-up visit so the temporary restoration can be removed, and a permanent dental crown can be fitted.
If you believe that you are suffering from an infected root canal and you would like to learn more about root canal treatment, please contact us at 509-698-6684 to schedule an appointment.