When patients are struggling with pain and discomfort that comes from the inside of the tooth, they may have a serious issue developing. This could be an indication of an abscess, an infection, a deep area of decay, or trauma that has caused inflammation of the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the mass of tissues and nerves that are housed in the center of a tooth. When infected, it can become painful. Patients with a toothache often visit their dentist worried that extraction of the tooth may be necessary, but this is not always the case. One of the best treatments for saving infected teeth is root canals.
Root canals, also known by dentists as endodontic therapy, are treatments used to save natural teeth when problems arise. This procedure is a common one done to remove the dental pulp from the inside of the tooth. By doing this, it deadens feeling in the tooth but allows patients to keep their natural tooth structure in place without needing restorations such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures.
Root canal therapy is done in the dental office with local anesthetics and sedation if required. Dr. David Lamothe prepares for the procedure by drilling a hole into the top of the tooth, which allows him access to the pulp chamber and root canals. This is where the dental pulp can be found. Using special instruments, he can carefully remove the dental pulp from the tooth and then insert a material known as gutta percha. This material is like a rubber that conforms to the inside canals of the tooth and can help seal it off. Composite resin bonding is used over the top to close the tooth to keep bacteria from getting inside, therefore maintaining a healthy tooth for years. In many cases, patients may also benefit from the placement of a dental crown over the tooth, which gives another layer of protection from breakage because the tooth may become brittle.
Patients with toothaches should not assume that extraction is the only option. Instead, root canal therapy can help save a tooth and keep patients from requiring a restoration. Contact Smyrna Dental today at (678) 374-3764 !