Root canal treatment is necessary when the inner portion of a tooth has become damaged by infection or decay. Root canal treatment is designed to save a severely injured tooth from extraction in a process that removes the harmful living material inside the tooth and replacing it with medicated fillings. Once the procedure is complete, the tooth will be crowned and will have its function and appearance restored, while still retaining its original structure.
A root canal becomes infected when decay reaches the inner pulp of a tooth or when a bacterial infection develops either inside a tooth or at the root tip. A root canal infection can be identified by many symptoms, including:
- Intense toothache
- Temperature sensitivities
- Inflamed and tender gum tissue
- Abscess on the gums
When conducting root canal treatment, the first step is to treat the tooth and the area surrounding it with a local anesthetic. Once the area is numb, a rubber sheet will be placed around the tooth. This sheet is used to prevent the infection from spreading and to ensure that the tooth remains dry throughout the entire process.
After the preparations are complete, special dental tools are used to access the inner area of the tooth and remove any infected pulp, damaged nerve tissue and visible decay that is present. To finish the procedure, the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and sealed with a dental filling material. A temporary crown will be applied over the surface of the tooth as a way of preventing fractures from occurring. The patient will return for a follow-up visit to receive a permanent dental crown.
If you are suffering from a root canal infection and you would like more information about root canal treatment, please call us at (479) 621-9700 to schedule an appointment.