If one or more of your teeth are decayed and/or damaged to the point that an extraction may be necessary, root canal therapy in Leesburg, VA offers an alternative that will restore it back to full health. Also commonly referred to as endodontic care, this is a treatment that is highly effective and successful. It consists of accessing the affected tooth’s inner chamber, thoroughly cleaning out any diseased pulp and bacteria, resealing the area to prevent any further threat of infection, and then restoring its structure with a crown.
There is often the misconception that root canals are painful, but that doesn’t need to be the case. At our dental office, we work hard to ensure that your root canal is a comfortable experience.
To understand how a tooth becomes infected, let’s first look at the structure of a tooth. Each tooth is made of three layers. The outside is covered with enamel, an extremely hard surface that gives your smile its shine.
Beneath the enamel is dentin, a slightly softer and somewhat porous material. At the center of each tooth is the pulp chamber. Here, blood, lymph, and nerve tissues transport nutrients to the tooth and remove waste through root canals that connect to your bloodstream.
Normally, the chamber and canals are protected by the enamel and dentin. But, if you have a large cavity, a crack or a loose filling, then bacteria can migrate into the chamber and canals. When this happens, infection usually begins.
Unfortunately, the leading indicator of a tooth infection is often severe pain. When this happens, you need to come see us as quickly as possible to relieve your discomfort and preserve the tooth.
Other symptoms include:
Remember, however, not all tooth infections display outward signs. For this reason, routine dental checkups and digital X-rays are often the best way to spot an infection early.
No matter what you’ve heard, root canal therapy is not painful or uncomfortable. In fact, this common dental procedure is designed to eliminate the pain of an infected tooth. Modern anesthesia and advanced dental technology make root canal therapy practically as simple as filling a cavity.
First, your dentist creates a small access hole in the tooth through which they’ll insert special dental files that remove infection and debris from the pulp chamber and root canals. Fortunately, your tooth can function perfectly fine without nerve, blood, and lymph tissue.
Then, the area is disinfected and filled with an inert substance that prevents recontamination. Finally, the tooth is sealed and prepped to have a porcelain crown that will protect it as well as restore its form and function. Your dentist may also prescribe an oral antibiotic to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.