No one wants to experience the pain of an infected tooth. When you do, your first thought may be to have the tooth pulled immediately, just so you can get relief. However, there is a general dental treatment to relieve the pain and save the tooth. Root canal therapy provides pain relief while leaving your tooth intact.
Root canal therapy (RCT) is a procedure that involves cleaning out the infected tooth and sealing the nerve canal so that bacteria can no longer have access. Decay begins on the outside of the tooth as a small hole. As bacteria work producing acids that eat away the tooth enamel, the hole gets larger and deeper until the decay finally reaches the inner part of the tooth.
This next layer is called the dentin. Much softer than the outer enamel, the dentin allows the decay to move through quickly and, unless the cavity is cleaned out and filled, the decay will move on to the pulp. This is where the nerves of the tooth are located. At this point, hot and cold foods and beverages may cause great discomfort. Some people experience pain while chewing food.
When the pulp becomes infected, it begins to die and an abscess forms at the apex of the root of the tooth. The abscess causes swelling and additional discomfort. RCT removes the dying nerve tissue from the tooth.
RCT does not cause pain as many people believe. The infection, abscess, and swelling are actually the source of the pain. With RCT, the nerve of the tooth is removed. The root canal is then carefully cleaned out and sealed off so that bacteria can no longer enter. The tooth is then filled with an appropriate filling material. Because the tooth is now essentially dead, a crown may be needed to provide strength and protection.
Before you decide to remove a tooth due to the pain you are experiencing, contact Lane Family Dental to schedule a consultation and let Dr. Lane examine it. He may be able to save your tooth while providing you the pain relief you seek.Schedule an appointment