One of the most misunderstood dental procedures is root canal therapy. This procedure is one that can save a tooth that would otherwise need extraction. It is often recommended when most of the tooth structure remains, but decay or injury has affected the pulp or the nerve center of the tooth.
Root canal therapy involves cleaning out all the decay from a tooth and removing the nerve. This procedure is accomplished by using special dental instruments designed specifically for extracting nerve tissue and debris from the root of the tooth. Once the canal has been thoroughly cleaned out, it is then sterilized and sealed off with a special material called gutta-percha so that bacteria cannot reenter the canal. After the canal is properly sealed off, the remainder of the tooth is filled with an appropriate filling material. It is often advised to have a crown placed on a tooth which has undergone root canal therapy. This is because such teeth can become brittle and are more susceptible to breakage as a result.
Dental decay begins on the surface of the tooth and eats its way through the different layers over time. The enamel is the hard outer shell, and once decay breaks through, the next layer is softer and easier to attack. You may feel some discomfort when the decay is in the dentin layer. However, the closer it gets to the nerve of the tooth, the more sensitivity you will feel.
Eventually, as the decay attacks the nerve of the tooth, you may feel a tremendous amount of pain. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages as well as sweets are indicative of nerve involvement. As an infection becomes worse, an abscess may develop at the apex of the tooth root. This will cause swelling as surrounding tissues become inflamed.
Root canal therapy relieves the pain and eliminates the infection from the tooth. It may take some time for the infection to disappear and the swelling to go down. Once the infection is brought under control, and the infected nerve is removed from the tooth, you should no longer feel any pain or discomfort.
At Axiom Dentistry, we take measures to ensure our patients undergo root canal therapy virtually pain-free. We perform the procedure with a gentle touch so that you can feel relaxed and calm. Do not let an infected tooth ruin your day. Contact Axiom Dentistry for an appointment. Let us alleviate the pain from your infected tooth today.