At the office of Washington Dental Care, we offer root canal or endodontic treatment as an option for patients who have a tooth that is deeply infected at the nerve level. When administered in time, a root canal therapy can help save a tooth from extraction and control the spread of infection.
A tooth has three parts; a hard outer layer (the enamel), a middle part that forms the core and shape of the tooth (the dentin), and the innermost central part of the tooth that is made up of nerves and blood vessels (the pulp). The pulp is responsible for supplying nutrients and blood to a developing tooth.
Reasons for a pulp infection:
- Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, which causes the gums to pull away from the tooth creating a space. Bacteria then get trapped there, causing an infection which can reach the pulp.
- Untreated decay can make its way through the enamel and travel into the pulp.
- A crack or fracture can also lead to an infection of the pulp.
One of the most common symptoms of a pulp infection is pain in the tooth which can range from dull to severe. Other signs and symptoms include the appearance of a spot or abscess on the gum or swelling in the gum tissue.
A root canal treatment involves the removal of the infected pulp from the tooth to control the infection. This is done after the administration of local anesthesia. An X-ray of the tooth is taken, and a small hole is made to reach the pulp chamber using dental instruments so that the dead nerves and infection can be removed. The tooth is then sealed with an inert filling and covered with a crown to protect it.
If you need more information about endodontic therapy, please call our practice at (312) 819-8488. We are conveniently located at 1229 W. Washington Boulevard #100, Chicago, IL 60607.