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My tooth is infected…what can I do?


Root Canal therapy can save an infected tooth that otherwise would need to be extracted.

At Bhat Dental Associates we believe in the importance of educating our patients about keeping their natural teeth for life. Some of our patients who require tooth extraction could have visited us sooner and saved their teeth with a root canal therapy. Unfortunately, people often assume that root canal treatment is lengthy and painful, however, thanks to today’s technology and techniques, root canal treatment is as simple, safe and quick as receiving a filling!

When is a root canal required?

If you are starting to notice a dark coloring on your tooth, if your old fillings are starting to deteriorate, or if your teeth are becoming increasingly sensitive to hot and/or cold, you may require a root canal treatment. These symptoms are caused by an infected tooth pulp which acts as the central nervous system of your teeth and delivers key nutrients to keep the tooth health and functional.

There are a few early warning signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of infected nerve tissue in the mouth. Root canal treatment can save your teeth that otherwise would need to be removed the longer it is left untreated. These include:

  • Tenderness when chewing
  • Toothache and sensitivity
  • Trauma to the tooth or jaw
  • Deep tooth decay
  • Severe gum disease

Time is essential, too. If treatment is not undertaken swiftly, this can cause severe pain, abscesses and even bone loss to the infected tooth site.  As a result, the tooth will not be able to receive root canal therapy, and instead, may need to be removed.

At Bhat Dental Associates we can determine the level of damage after conducting a full mouth examination to assess the infected tooth and provide the necessary treatment.

What is a Root Canal treatment?

Root canal treatment, also known as Endodontics, is a dental procedure to treat infection at the center of a tooth (the root canal system). Our front teeth generally have one and sometimes two root canals, premolars also usually have one or two root canals, while our molar teeth generally three to four canals.The Root canal treatment is a process whereby inflamed or dead pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth, enabling a tooth that was causing pain to be retained.

The root canal process

Depending on the complexity of your case, your root canal treatment may need to be performed over several visits. Generally, our professional dentists will assess your tooth to identify how much damage there is. Once this has been discovered and you are happy to move forward with treatment, we will numb the area and create an opening at the top of the tooth. The diseased pulp tissue is then removed from inside of the tooth and the root canals are cleaned. If your tooth has suffered structural damage in the process, we will place a dental crown over the tooth to help maintain its structural integrity.

How successful is root canal treatment?

The sooner you commence root canal treatment the greater the successful outcome will be. When you receive root canal treatment it is important to follow a consistent oral hygiene routine to ensure the longevity of your treatment. As with any invasive process there are certain risks involved and on rare occasions complications may arise such as removing the tooth all together. These complications could result in the need for additional treatment or the need for the tooth to be extracted. However, these complications are rare and in most cases root canal treatment is very successful

If you believe you may be suffering from an infection in the pulp or nerve tissue of your tooth, at Bhat Dental Associates we can help you. Our highly experienced team can diagnose and treat your infected tooth and get you back on the road to a healthy smile!

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