A decaying, painful tooth makes it hard to focus or complete your daily routine. If left untreated, tooth pain grows more severe, and it’s essential you seek immediate help from an experienced dentist. At Alpine Dental in Monroe, Washington, the skilled dental team offers services, including root canals, to repair and restore decayed or infected teeth. Book your appointment online now for a full oral health evaluation and relieve the stress of a painful tooth.
A root canal is a surgical treatment to repair a severely decayed or infected tooth. Every tooth contains a natural cavity within its center. The pulp is the soft area in the root canal where the nerve is located.
The pulp and nerve of a tooth can become irritated or inflamed due to severe decay, large fillings, a crack in the tooth, or from injury or trauma to the face. When the nerve tissue or the pulp is damaged, it breaks down. Bacteria begin to grow within the pulp chamber, and food particles become trapped, creating an infection in the tooth.
If the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth’s roots, an abscess can develop. A tooth abscess leads to swelling of the face, jaw, and neck and can lead to bone loss near the root’s tip. If this happens, you may need a root canal to reduce pain and save the tooth.
Before recommending a root canal, your dentist takes a digital X-ray to determine the shape of the root canal and ensure there aren’t signs of infection. If an infection is present before the procedure, your dentist may give you antibiotics to reduce inflammation and treat the infection before the root canal.
The dentist administers a local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth. During a root canal, the dentist removes the nerve and pulp and cleans and seals the interior of the tooth. They may put additional medication inside the tooth to prevent further infection.
After finishing the root canal procedure, the dentist may recommend additional restoration to the damaged tooth, including fillings or a crown. This restorative work ensures the tooth remains healthy and functional afterward.
Following a root canal, the affected tooth may be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures for a few days. There may also be swelling in the area, which you can reduce by taking over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen. You can continue normal activities the next day.
If your dentist recommends a permanent crown, it’s advisable to avoid chewing with the affected tooth until after the crown is in place. Good oral hygiene is necessary to prevent recontamination of the tooth before final restorative work is complete.
To learn more about the benefits of fixing your tooth with a root canal, book your appointment online today.