Taking care of an infected tooth is vital for various reasons. First, untreated dental infections can lead to substantial pain and discomfort. Over time, the infection can also spread to other parts of the body, causing systemic health issues. Fortunately, addressing the infection promptly can save the affected tooth, preventing the need for extraction and other interventions. Root canal treatment, in particular, can save an infected tooth to restore your healthy smile.
At Brockley Dental Center, we have the expertise to treat your infection safely and effectively. With decades of experience providing compassionate and skilled dentistry, you can trust us with your root canal therapy.
Understanding Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is a dental procedure to save a severely damaged or infected tooth by removing the infected pulp (the soft inner tissue), cleaning and disinfecting the canals, and sealing them to prevent further infection. But how does this process work?
- Diagnosis: The process begins with a thorough dental examination and X-rays to determine the extent of damage or infection in the tooth.
- Local anesthesia: We will administer a local anesthetic to numb the affected area to ensure your comfort during the procedure. For patients with dental anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry.
- Access the pulp: To provide access to the pulp chamber and root canals, we create a small hole in the tooth’s crown.
- Pulp removal: We will carefully remove the infected or damaged pulp using specialized instruments.
- Cleaning and shaping: Once the pulp is removed, we will clean and shape the tooth’s interior, eliminating any remaining bacteria and debris. Next, we disinfect the canals to prevent further infection.
- Filling: We fill the canals with a biocompatible material to seal them.
- Restoration: Finally, a dental crown is typically placed over the treated tooth to restore its function and appearance.
The Benefits of Keeping a Tooth vs. Extraction
Whenever possible, our aim is to preserve the health of your natural teeth. Keeping a tooth is more beneficial than extracting it for several reasons, including:
- Preservation of natural teeth: One of the primary benefits is preserving your natural teeth. A restored tooth can function just like any other, allowing you to chew and speak comfortably.
- Preventing bone loss: Extracted teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw over time, which can impact facial structure. Preserving the natural tooth helps maintain the integrity of the jawbone.
- Efficient chewing and speaking: A treated tooth allows you to chew food efficiently and speak clearly, which enhances your overall quality of life.
- Cost-effective: Root canal treatment is often more cost-effective in the long run than extraction followed by tooth replacement procedures.
- Minimal discomfort: Modern techniques and anesthesia make root canals relatively painless, and the recovery is quick.
The History of Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment extends deep into the archives of dental history. While the procedure has evolved significantly over time, its roots can be traced back to earlier centuries.
In the 17th century, philosopher and scientist René Descartes proposed the concept of “animal spirits” within teeth, which he believed could cause tooth pain. This laid the theoretical foundation for future endodontic work. The 18th century saw early attempts at root canal treatments, but the techniques were crude and often painful.
In the 19th century, a significant breakthrough occurred when dentists experimented with more effective materials and techniques. Using rubber as a dental dam and discovering X-rays in the late 19th century revolutionized the field. The early 20th century marked a turning point with the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. His research emphasized the importance of thoroughly cleaning and sealing the pulp chamber and root canals to save teeth from extraction. These principles continue to form the basis of modern root canal therapy.
While many people expect root canals to be painful, modern techniques and anesthetics make the procedure virtually painless. In fact, the procedure eliminates the pain that the infection causes.
Talk to Us About Root Canal Treatment
If you’re facing the prospect of a root canal or seeking a solution to a dental issue, choose the expertise and care of Brockley Dental Center. Our experienced dental professionals are well-versed in the latest techniques and technology for root canal treatment.
Don’t let dental issues jeopardize your smile’s health. Contact us today to schedule your first visit and experience the benefits of preserving your natural teeth through effective root canal treatment. Your smile is our priority, and we’re here to save it.