If you suspect you have an infected tooth or have been diagnosed with an infected or abscessed tooth, you need to choose a dentist you can trust for your root canal procedure. The root canal procedure is a great way to preserve a severely decayed tooth—it’s a long-lasting alternative to getting dental implants, and for many people it’s an even better option. It has a more than 90% success rate, can eliminate pain from your tooth and protect you from secondary infections.
If you think you might have an infected tooth or if you’re looking for a second opinion on a possible root canal in San Diego, please call (619) 299-5925 or email Strober Dental today to schedule an appointment.
Symptoms of an Infected (Abscessed) Tooth
A root canal treats an infected (also called abscessed) tooth. Your tooth gets infected when a cavity becomes deep enough that it penetrates into the pulp in the middle of the tooth. Bacteria from your mouth then invade the pulp chamber.
Once bacteria are inside your tooth, they can travel through your body and infect other places nearby. They can infect your jawbone, infect other teeth, your sinuses, and sometimes even your brain (which is a life-threatening situation).
If you have some or all of the following symptoms, you should see a dentist and ask whether your tooth is infected:
- Spontaneous, severe, or persistent tooth pain
- Lasting pain related to heat, cold, or pressure
- Recurring or serious sinus infections
- Pimples on the gums
- Persistent bad breath (could also be a sign of gum disease)
- General signs of an infection: swollen lymph glands, fever, fatigue
People assume that an infected tooth always comes with a lot of pain, but this isn’t true. Some people do experience a lot of pain, but others may not have much pain at all.
How a Root Canal Works
A root canal works by removing the infected pulp and filling the tooth with an inert material. First, infected and damaged enamel from the tooth is removed. Then we will drill into the infected pulp cavity. We will remove all the infected pulp, all the way down to the canals in the tooth roots.
Once the infected pulp is removed, the tooth will be filled with an inert material that performs the supportive role of your pulp. Other than filling space, pulp has little role in a fully matured tooth, and removing it has little impact on the function of the tooth. Your tooth will then be covered with a dental crown to protect and support it.
Recent studies have shown that overall, teeth after a root canal tend to last longer than dental implants, so a root canal makes sense as your first choice for treatment of an infected tooth.
Although a root canal has an infamous reputation, with modern technology you will likely feel little discomfort, and for nearly everyone the discomfort of the procedure is far less than what you’re likely experiencing with your infected tooth. If you are nervous about the procedure, we offer conscious oral sedation that can help you feel comfortable and relaxed during your appointment.