By removing infected tissue from the center of your tooth, root canal treatment can save your teeth from extraction, protect your smile, and boost your health. Here at Erickson Dental Care in Grants Pass, OR, your dentists, Drs. Sten, Mart, and Rachel Erickson, can help you care for your smile with root canal therapy and other services and procedures—read on to learn more.
How root canals remove infections
Root canals are performed to treat infections that affect the dental pulp, a soft mass of blood vessels, nerves, and tissues that is located deep inside your tooth. Although the pulp is well protected by the hard dentin and enamel layers of teeth, it can still become infected in some cases. Common causes of infection include:
- Cracks or chips in teeth that allow bacteria to reach the pulp
- Tooth trauma
- Repeated dental procedures
- Extensive tooth decay
During root canal treatment, your Grants Pass dentist numbs the tooth before removing the infected pulp. After the pulp is taken out, your dentist will clean the interior of the tooth and shape the root canals with tiny files. This process ensures that all of the infected material is removed. Finally, you will receive a permanent filling made of gutta-percha (a durable rubber-based material), as well as a dental crown to strengthen your treated tooth.
What happens if I don't have a root canal?
Bacteria present in the pulp may eventually reach the bones that hold your teeth in place. If damage to this bone occurs, your tooth will loosen and eventually fall out. Untreated infections also increase your risk of developing an abscess. Abscesses can cause severe tooth/jaw pain, fever, facial swelling, and swollen lymph nodes.
Abscesses are dental emergencies. If they aren't treated promptly, the infection can spread to other parts of your body, increasing your risk of stroke and heart disease. Fortunately, a root canal and antibiotics can help you avoid these serious consequences.
Concerned? Give us a call
Protect and preserve infected teeth with root canal treatment Call your Grants Pass, OR, dentists, Drs. Sten, Mart, and Rachel Erickson, at (541) 476-3419 to schedule an appointment.