Root canal therapy is the last possible treatment method to restore a severely decayed or infected tooth. It is the process of removing the decayed pulp from the tooth’s root canal cavity to save the tooth from being extracted. Though the tooth loses its nourishment and sensitivity after the procedure, it can be retained with the help of a dental crown placed over it.
What causes a root canal infection?
The most significant cause of a root canal infection is the presence of cavities. When cavities aren’t treated and disinfected during the early stages, the decay will spread to the inner layers of the tooth and reach the root canal cavity. The microbes from the decayed tissues can infect the dental pulp, thereby giving rise to a root canal infection. Sometimes, cracked or broken teeth that aren’t restored can allow the bacteria to enter the root canal. Gum diseases are also known to give rise to the infection.
What are its symptoms?
- Due to the decay of the dental pulp, patients may experience severe pain while biting and chewing food.
- The gums near the infected tooth could bleed or discharge pus.
- While consuming cold or hot foods, the tooth may display severe sensitivity compared to the adjoining teeth.
- The tooth may loosen from its cavity due to loosened gums and jawbone deterioration.
How can a root canal infection be treated?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing and treating root canal infections. During the initial appointment, the dentist will carefully examine the teeth to understand the severity of the condition. Next, x-ray and scans may be taken to view the underlying root and jawbone. The dentist cleans the teeth and places a rubber dam on it. A small hole is made on the tooth, and the decayed dental pulp will be removed using dental files. The root canal cavity will be scrubbed to remove the adhered microbes and decay. A jet of water is used to wash it off.
The hole will be sealed using a filling material after a small amount of medication is placed in the cavity. This ensures reinfection doesn’t occur. After the procedure, the tooth may become too weak, and the chances for it to crumble or crack under severe forces are high. Hence, after a few days of the procedure, it is best to get the tooth restored using a dental crown. The ceramic restoration holds the tooth intact and prevents its failure.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (408) 371-1070 to have a consultation with any of our Los Gatos Dental Group dentists, and we will be happy to help!