Your teeth are strong. However, when they succumb to damage or decay, they are at risk of developing an infection. Infections in your teeth are serious. Not only can they cause significant tooth pain, but they can also lead to tooth abscesses and bacteria entering your bloodstream (which can contribute to serious health issues like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes). At National Dental Oakland Gardens, we can restore the health of your teeth with a root canal.
DO YOU NEED A ROOT CANAL?
A root canal is a procedure that is designed to remove an infection from the interior of your tooth, helping to avoid the need for the affected tooth to be extracted. An infection occurs as a result of oral bacteria entering the inner layer of your tooth. This can happen in a variety of ways. You may have a crack in your tooth that extends into the dentin. This is the inner layer of your tooth, which houses the hollow canals that lead to the roots of your teeth. The inner layer also houses pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. Damage can also occur as a result of cavities or gum disease.
When bacterium enters a tooth it multiplies quickly and irritates the pulp. In response, it becomes inflamed. As the infection grows, it may spill out of the root of your tooth, leading to an abscess. If the abscess bursts, it can allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream, which can then cause a series of very serious health issues.
SIGNS OF AN INFECTION
Here are a few signs that might indicate that you are suffering from a tooth infection:
- Swelling around the affected tooth.
- Facial swelling.
- Severe tooth pain. The pain may be triggered by eating and can last a while, even after you have finished your meal.
- Lingering tooth sensitivity.
- Bone loss in your jaw.
- A dental abscess (this is the biggest indication of an infection).
DIAGNOSING AN INFECTION IN YOUR TEETH
At National Dental, we must first diagnose the infection in your tooth before we move forward with the root canal treatment. Diagnosis is possible with an oral exam. We start by checking your teeth for signs of damage, and your gums for signs of swelling. We will also take a digital image (digital X-ray or ICAT) so that we can see the condition of your jawbone. Digital images will also allow us to see any abscesses that might be present. If an infection has been determined, we then use your digital images to create your custom treatment plan.
TREATING INFECTIONS WITH A ROOT CANAL
A root canal, or endodontic treatment, involves drilling into the top of your tooth to remove the pulp and the infection, along with cleaning and shaping the canals within the tooth. At National Dental, this is done by administering a rotary endodontic treatment. We use a specialized rotary tool, which contains a nickel-titanium tip, to clean and shape canals. Nickel-titanium is up to 5 times more flexible than the manual stainless-steel files that have been used in the past. This helps to prevent damage to your teeth as we work. After the interior of the tooth has been cleaned and disinfected, it is filled, and the tooth is finally capped with a crown.
With a root canal, we can restore the health of your tooth, and prevent the need for an extraction. If you suspect you have an infection, call National Dental Oakland Gardens today at (718) 407-0574 to schedule your appointment.