An infection that forms inside your tooth is a serious matter. The irritated pulp becomes inflamed, often leading to serious tooth pain. Bacteria can spill out of the root of the tooth, forming an abscess. It can even enter the bloodstream, leading to other serious health issues. At National Dental Williston Park, we can restore the health of your infected tooth with a root canal.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
Infections in your teeth occur as a result of the bacterial invasion. Bacteria can enter your teeth in a variety of different ways – chips or cracks that extend into the inner layer of the tooth, deep cavities, or gum disease. The inner layer of your teeth, the dentin, contains hollow canals that lead to the roots. The interior of the teeth also houses the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. When bacteria enter, they hide out in the canals and attack the pulp. This leads to irritation and inflammation. As the bacteria multiply, they run out of space inside the affected tooth and begin to spill out of the roots. As they do, a sac forms around them, creating an abscess. Untreated, the abscess only continues to grow. If the abscess bursts, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream, leading to serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes. The only way to eliminate an infection is with a root canal.
Symptoms of an Infection
There are several symptoms of an infection inside your tooth:
- Experiencing severe pain while you chew, and lingers after you are finished.
- Sensitivity to certain irritants (temperature, spice, salt, acid) that lingers long after the irritant is gone.
- Facial swelling.
- Bone loss in your jaw.
- A dental abscess (this is one of the most obvious signs of an infection).
Diagnosing an Infection
The only way to diagnose an infection inside your tooth is with an oral exam. We begin with an inspection of the visible structures inside your mouth. We check your teeth for signs of damage (chips and cracks) and cavities. We will also look at your gums for signs of gum disease. Once we are finished with the visual inspection, we will take digital X-rays. These images will allow us to see the hidden areas of your mouth. We can check for damage and decay between your teeth, as well as damage and abscesses below the gums. If we find an infection, your digital images are used to create a customized treatment plan that will provide you with the best results.
Root Canals Using Rotary Endodontics
At National Dental, your root canal is performed with rotary endodontics. After we administer a local anesthetic, we then drill a small hole into the top of your tooth. Small, specialized tools to remove the infected pulp. Next, an electric handpiece, outfitted with a nickel-titanium tip is used to shape and clean your canals. Nickel-titanium is up to 5 times more flexible than the manual stainless-steel file traditionally used to shape canals. It greatly reduces the risk of damaging the tooth in the process. The electric handpiece also helps to speed up the procedure and causes less noise (which can help patients with dental anxiety to relax). We clean and disinfect the tooth, fill it, and then place a dental crown, which provides both strength and protection.
With a root canal, we can remove the infection from the interior of your tooth, restoring the health of your mouth and avoiding the need for an extraction. For more information, or to schedule your appointment, call National Dental Williston Park today at (516) 686-9780.