When cavities are not treated quickly enough, the decay can spread into the center of your tooth and infect the pulp inside. When this happens, it is called endodontic disease. The endodontic area is the inside part of your tooth where the pulp is. The pulp contains the blood vessels and nerves of your tooth and when it gets infected it can cause severe pain. The best treatment for endodontic disease is a root canal procedure.
The most common causes of endodontic disease are poor dental hygiene, severe cracks, breakage, and trauma to the face. Once the pulp of a tooth is damaged it will either need to have a root canal or be extracted before the infection can cause worse damage. Infected teeth that are not treated quickly may cause swelling of the face, bone loss where the infected tooth is, and tooth loss. The main signs of endodontic disease are pain, sensitivity, discoloration, and swelling so if you are experiencing these symptoms you should see your dentist immediately.
Root Canal Therapy
During your first root canal appointment, your dentist will take x-rays in order to get a more complete picture of the damage and how to repair it. When you begin the treatment, a dental dam will be placed over all of your mouth except the tooth getting the root canal to help prevent the spread of bacteria and infection. Your dentist will then drill into the top of your tooth through into the center to access the pulp and will clean out all of the infection. This may take more than one appointment, so a temporary filling will be put in if extra work is required.
Once the infected pulp is completely removed and cleaned out, your dentist will place a permanent filling in order to protect the tooth from further decay. This will also give you back the full function of your tooth. Though you may experience some pain after the treatment, most patients say they are in less pain after the procedure than before.
See Your Dentist
Severe tooth decay is a common problem, so if you are experiencing some of these symptoms you may need a root canal. If you are in the Amherst, NH area and would like more information about root canals and endodontic disease, please contact our office today!