Root Canal Treatment for Extreme Tooth Infection
When tooth decay strikes, the cavity that forms in your tooth can often be treated with a tooth-colored filling. If the decay progresses enough, or if the tooth is damaged and its inner chamber, called the pulp, becomes infected, then saving the tooth could require root canal treatment. Much like a tooth filling, root canal treatment involves cleaning away the infected portion of the tooth, then restoring it with biocompatible material. However, with root canal treatment, the restoration is more extensive, and your tooth may need a dental crown placed over it afterwards.
Performing Root Canal Treatment
A tooth’s root extends underneath the gums and into the jawbone. Inside of the root’s canal, your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels travel from the jawbone and into the tooth’s pulp. Internal tooth infection occurs when decay reaches the pulp, and the bacteria that cause the infection spread into the root canal.
To stop the infection from spreading and save the healthy tooth structure that remains, Dr. Nielsen will carefully access the tooth’s interior to remove the infection and sanitize the root canals. Local anesthesia will limit discomfort during the procedure, and if you prefer, we can also administer dental sedation to help you relax.
After the infection is removed, your tooth and its supportive roots may be significantly weaker. To strengthen them and prevent damage or reinfection, Dr. Nielsen will seal the roots with a biocompatible substance called gutta percha. Then, he will restore the tooth’s cavity with tooth-colored composite resin and finish restoring the tooth with an appropriate dental crown.