If you have a painful toothache or swollen oral abscess, you may need root canal treatment. Despite a nasty reputation, root canal treatment is a simple process that can restore a tooth from extensive decay. If you need root canal treatment, or if you’re having symptoms of an infected root canal, call Lynn A. Livingston, DDS, of Dental Care Center of Decatur in Decatur, Georgia, today or request an appointment online.
Root canal treatment is used to repair or save teeth that have become badly damaged or decayed. Tooth decay first affects the exposed top layer of your tooth, but over time, it can penetrate into the vulnerable pulp inside the tooth, as well as the nerve below.
If the pulp of your tooth becomes infected, an abscess may form, possibly even infecting the jawbone below.
The naturally occurring hollow center of your tooth’s root is known as the root canal, and the dental procedure used to treat decayed or abscessed tooth pulp is known as root canal treatment or endodontic treatment.
A root canal treatment takes place over one or more visits to the Dental Care Center of Decatur and. The first step is to take an X-ray of your tooth to determine how severe the decay and infection are. Then, Dr. Livingston will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth and place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep it free of saliva.
The next step is to drill a tiny access hole into your tooth to reach the pulp below. To prevent future infection, Dr. Livingston will remove the pulp and the nerve from the tooth. The nerve is not necessary to a healthy tooth, but it will mean that your tooth will no longer be able to feel temperature changes.
Once the pulp has been removed along with any infection, the tooth is sealed shut, and a filling is placed to fill up the access hole.
Root canals have gotten a bad reputation for being an especially painful procedure, but modern dental techniques and technology have made the process much more comfortable. Most people report that a root canal is no more painful than a standard filling and that the root canal infection itself is far more painful than the treatment.
If you’re suffering from a toothache, decayed tooth, or oral abscess, call the Dental Care Center of Decatur, or make an appointment online.