Root Canal Therapy

Bend, OR man smiling about his successful root canal procedure by his dentist.
Your teeth are pretty incredible. They enable you to do some different things and are responsible for biting, chewing, speech, and a beautiful smile. Your teeth also play an integral role in the health of your jawbone. While your teeth are the strongest substance in your body, they can still be faced with serious issues that leave them susceptible to infections. If an infection does develop, it is imperative to seek treatment right away. Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD can help with root canal therapy.

The Layers of Your Teeth

From the outside, the teeth look fairly simple. However, what you see on the outside is just one layer. This layer, also called the enamel, is the strongest substance in your body. Below this layer is another hard layer, although it is not quite as hard as your enamel. This layer is called dentin, and it contains hollow channels that travel to the roots of your teeth, Below the dentin is a hollow chamber, which contains soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves. The nerves aid in detecting temperatures.

How Does a Tooth Get Infected?

While your enamel is incredibly hard, it is not indestructible. Your enamel can develop chips, cracks, or decay. These issues can worsen over time. As the damage worsens, the inner layers of your teeth may become exposed. Bacteria can enter into the inner layers of your teeth and take up residence in the channels and the pulp chamber. As they multiply, the bacteria begin to irritate the pulp, leading to inflammation. As the infection progresses, bacteria can start to spill out through the root of the tooth, leading to the formation of an abscess. This abscess is a sac that forms around the bacteria in an attempt to contain it. The longer it goes untreated, the larger it becomes. It may even eventually rupture, which can let bacteria travel into the bloodstream and throughout the body.

Symptoms of a Tooth Infection

Significant tooth pain is one of the most obvious indications of a tooth infection. It is also one of the most common. However, infections can sometimes develop without pain. There are other symptoms that can indicate a tooth infection as well. These symptoms include:
•  Jaw and facial swelling
•  Pain or sensitivity that lingers, even after the initial irritant is gone.
•  A chronic bad taste.
•  An abscess.
•  Bone loss.

Root Canal Therapy

If you notice any symptoms of a tooth infection, it is imperative to schedule an appointment right away. We look over your teeth, checking for signs of damage and decay. Your gums are examined for redness and swelling. We also take dental X-rays, which will enable us to see the areas of your mouth below your gum line. We can detect root damage, bone loss, and abscesses. Once we diagnose your infection, we can then formulate an effective treatment plan to restore your oral health.

If you are diagnosed with a tooth infection, a root canal is required. This treatment is designed to eliminate the infection and restore your oral health. It is generally performed under a local anesthetic. An access hole is drilled in the top of the tooth. Small tools allow us to remove the pulp of the tooth and the nerve. Next, we shape the canals and clean the entire inside of the tooth. After disinfecting it, we place a filling inside the empty space, which seals the canals. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth to provide it with protection and restore its strength.

If you notice any symptoms of a tooth infection, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD today at (541) 389-0261.