It is important to care for our teeth with regular brushing, flossing, and biannual dental exams. When teeth are not cleaned properly, bacteria and plaque build up and tooth decay can occur. If tooth decay is left untreated it will only get worse and this may lead to infection. Dr. Clint Newman, a leading Nashville cosmetic dentist, provides root canal treatment for his patients suffering from infection due to severe tooth decay. Dr. Newman also offers preventative treatment, along with advice on avoiding root canal infection.
When Is a Root Canal Needed?
There are canals within the teeth that can become infected, usually due to large number of bacteria that are present. When these canals are infected, the pulp in the center of the tooth is likely to become infected as well. These infections are most likely to occur if a cavity goes untreated, but trauma to the tooth can also lead to infection. Pain in the infected tooth is the most obvious symptom of a root canal infection; you may notice other symptoms such as sensitivity or even a discolored tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
When the pulp is infected, the best treatment is root canal therapy. Before we start treatment, Dr. Newman will numb the area. If you are worried or anxious about undergoing the procedure, we can offer mild sedation. We will need to drill a hole to remove the tooth’s pulp. This hole will either be placed on the top of the tooth or at the back of the tooth. When the pulp and infection have been removed, we will use an antiseptic rinse to clean out the tooth and canals. Once the tooth has been cleaned, we will apply a temporary filling. We will wait a couple of weeks to make sure the infection has been eliminated before applying a permanent filling or dental crown. We usually prefer a dental crown because it provides the tooth with more protection than a regular filling.
Dr. Newman will give you instructions on how to care for your tooth after root canal therapy. It is very important to follow these instructions. You might feel some discomfort for a few days after treatment but this should be mild. Make sure you continue to clean and floss the treated tooth. If any infection remains, the tooth can become re-infected. This would require a second root canal, which would be lengthier and more complicated than the first as all of the dental filling or crown would need to be removed before we could reach the infection.
Alternatives to Root Canal Therapy
Depending on the severity of tooth decay Dr. Newman can tell you if you are a candidate for treatment other than root canal therapy. For some of our patients in Nashville, dental crowns can be used to treat areas of tooth decay. After a dental exam Dr. Newman will discuss your options with you.
Schedule an Appointment
Dr. Clint Newman offers top quality dental care to treat tooth decay and prevent future oral health problems. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and assure that your smile is at its optimum health.