When you get an infection inside your tooth, your oral health, and your overall health are put at risk. Bacteria inflame the pulp of the affected tooth, causing severe dental pain. Abscesses may form. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream, leading to a whole host of other serious health conditions. At National Dental Melville, we can perform a root canal to remove the infection and protect your oral and overall health.
Why is a Root Canal Necessary?
Bacteria can enter your tooth in a variety of different ways. They can enter through cracks or chips that extend into the dentin (where hollow canals that lead to the root of the tooth reside). They can enter through untreated cavities. They can also enter from under the gum line as a result of gum disease. No matter how the bacteria get in, they don’t come out easily. Instead, they take up residence inside the canals of your tooth and inflame the pulp (which contains nerves and blood vessels). The bacteria continue to multiply, and the infection can eventually spill out through the root of your tooth. A sac forms around the bacteria, forming an abscess. As the infection grows, the abscess grows. The abscess can potentially burst, which can then lead to bacteria entering your bloodstream. The only way to remove the infection is with a root canal, which helps to save your tooth from an extraction.
Common Signs a Root Canal is Needed
There are a few different symptoms that can indicate an infection is present in your tooth:
- An abscess is the biggest indicator of an infection.
- A toothache.
- Severe pain and tooth sensitivity that lingers.
- Facial swelling.
- Bone loss in your jaw.
Diagnosing an Infection
Diagnosing an infection, and your need for a root canal requires an oral exam. We start by inspecting the inside of your mouth, checking for swelling and redness. Your teeth will be checked for signs of damage. Digital imaging is also essential for diagnosing your infection by allowing us to see underneath your gum line. We can look for abscesses and bone loss. Once your infection has been diagnosed, we can then move forward and design a customized treatment plan for your root canal.
How is a Root Canal Performed?
At National Dental, our root canal procedures are performed using rotary endodontics. Treatment begins with a local anesthetic, which numbs the affected area. We then drill into the top of the tooth and use specialized tools to remove the pulp and nerves. Next, we use a nickel-titanium tip on our electric handpiece to shape the tooth’s canals. Nickel-titanium is up to 5 times more flexible than stainless steel (which is traditionally used for root canal therapy), which allows us to access curved canals with less risk of damage. The use of the electric handpiece also helps to speed up the procedure. The tooth is cleaned and disinfected, packed with a special material and capped with a crown. The crown acts to strengthen the tooth and protect it from new bacterial infection.
If you have an infection in one of your teeth, a root canal is the only way to remove it and protect your tooth (and your health). Contact National Dental Melville at (631) 816-2277 to schedule your consultation today.