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If you have a tooth that has become infected due to extensive tooth decay or an oral injury, root canal therapy from Our doctors at Clermont Family Dentistry will get you out of pain, save your tooth, and restore your smile. We perform root canals on both molars and anterior (front) teeth, so contact us right away if you suspect that any of your teeth have become damaged or infected.
Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure that is used to treat and save an infected tooth. Tooth infections occur when the hard, outer layers of enamel and dentin are destroyed by decay or a dental injury. When this happens, the vulnerable “pulp” inside of your tooth, which is filled with blood vessels and nerves, is exposed to oral bacteria.This results in an infection of the pulp. If this infection is not treated, your tooth will eventually die, and it may fall out of your mouth or require extraction. A root canal is used to prevent this from happening.
During root canal therapy, a small opening is made in the tooth and the damaged material is extracted. The tooth is then disinfected and filled with an inert material. Finally, a crown is used to cover up and protect the remaining tooth structure.
There’s only one cause of a tooth infection. Tooth infections occur when the outer layers of the teeth have been damaged in some way, and oral bacteria make their way into the delicate, fragile “pulp” inside your tooth.
This pulp contains the nerves that let you feel things when you chew and bite, as well as the blood vessels that keep your tooth alive. When it becomes infected, it will begin to die. If you don’t get treatment, the tooth will eventually become non-vital (dead) and may even fall out of your mouth completely.
There are a few ways that an infection can happen, though. In some cases, an old or weak tooth may crack when you bite or eat something, allowing bacteria into the interior of the tooth. Oral injuries are also a common cause of tooth damage that leads to an infection.
However, tooth decay (cavities) is the most common problem that causes a tooth infection. If a cavity is left untreated, it will eventually eat through the outer layers of the tooth, reaching the pulp and causing an infection that will require root canal therapy.
The most common sign of an infected tooth is a serious, throbbing toothache that persists for more than a few days. However, not all infected teeth cause a toothache and there are some other signs and symptoms you should look out for:
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you may have an infected tooth. Call us today to schedule a consultation and get treatment as soon as possible!
Not sure what’s involved in the root canal process? Here’s a quick overview of the basics, and what you can expect if you need a root canal in Clermont.
After completion of root canal therapy you might feel some discomfort for few days following the treatment. To alleviate the discomfort you can follow the dentist’s recommendation on taking an over the counter pain medication. In more extreme cases the dentist may prescribe an antibiotic and prescription-strength pain reliever to help reduce any remaining infection.
Following root canal therapy you should never chew directly on the repaired tooth until its final restoration has occurred or your tooth may crack. Also, keep in mind that the longer you wait to complete the final restoration the more likely bacteria will reinfect the treated canal requiring the therapy to be performed all over again.
Root canal therapy, like every other treatment, is not free of unknowns and complications. There is a possibility that during the procedure a shaping file could break and get stuck in the root canal or that the root of the tooth fractures. In other cases a good seal may not be achieved due to the shape of the root. Lastly, it is possible to miss a hidden root or an extra canal that is in need of treatment. Of course these complications are the exceptions not the norm.
In the event that root canal therapy is unsuccessful, the dentist can discuss alternative options including repeating the treatment or extracting the infected tooth.
The sooner you get a root canal for your infected tooth, the more likely it is that you will be able to save it. Ready to schedule your consultation? Give us a call at (352) 242-1763 or (352) 269-1400, or feel free to walk into one of our office for an emergency appointment if you are in pain.