Tooth enamel is incredibly hard. It allows you to bite and chew a wide variety of different foods. This outermost layer of your teeth is also essential for the protection of the inner layers of the teeth. Even though enamel is so hard, it can still be faced with damages or tooth decay. When any damage occurs to the enamel, your teeth become compromised. Serious damage can provide an access point for bacteria to enter the interior of your teeth, which can lead to an infection, and serious consequences. If bacteria do get inside your tooth, it requires dental care right away. At Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry by Dr. Shrenna Clifton, we can help with a root canal.
Bacterial Invasion of Your Teeth
The part of your teeth that you see is just one of many layers. The teeth are quite complex. At the very inside of the teeth, there is a series of hollow canals, which lead down to the tooth roots. The interior of the tooth also contains the soft tissue known pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, which deliver nutrients to the tooth, and nerves, which allow you to feel temperature and pressure.
While the outer layer is strong, damage can still occur. Cracks, chips, or tooth decay can provide direct access to the inner layer of the teeth, allowing bacteria to travel freely inside. Inside the tooth, they make themselves at home in the hollow canals and attack the pulp. The pulp swells, becoming infected and painful, which can significantly disrupt your quality of life.
A root canal is the only way an infection inside the tooth can be treated. The procedure involves removing not just the bacteria, but the infected pulp and the nerves inside the tooth as well. The interior of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. At the end of your treatment, a dental crown is placed on the affected tooth, which provides it with strength and protects it from the possibility of another infection.
What symptoms should I watch for?
There are several signs and symptoms that can point toward an infection inside one of your teeth.
Diagnosing an Infection and Providing Treatment
If you suspect an infection, it is important that you call our office right away. We can perform a thorough oral exam to diagnose an infection and provide you with the treatment you need. Your exam starts with a visual evaluation of your teeth and gums. We check for signs of damage, decay, and infection. We also take x-rays of your mouth, which provide us with a view of the structures under your gum line. We can see damage to the roots of your teeth as well as any abscesses or other issues.
If an infection is present, we then move forward with a root canal. After a local anesthetic, and sedation if necessary, we drill a small hole into the top of the affected tooth. Small tools are used to extract the pulp from inside the tooth. We then shape the hollow canals and disinfect the entire interior. Once the tooth is clean, a dental material called gutta percha is placed inside the space left behind. The very last step of your root canal is preparing the treated tooth and placing a dental crown.
With a root canal, we can effectively eliminate infection from your tooth, restoring your oral health and your quality of life. Call Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry by Dr. Shrenna Clifton today for more information at (470) 400-2001.
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350 Newnan Crossing Bypass
Newnan GA 30265
Call: (470) 400-2001
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