If you have an infected tooth, you need to treat it as an emergency. A tooth infection isn’t just a threat to your teeth, it can be a threat to your life. Fortunately, root canal therapy can save your infected tooth, making it whole and functional again. A treated tooth can last for decades, even the rest of your life. And while people think that root canal therapy is painful, it actually relieves pain!
If you need or suspect you need root canal therapy, having a compassionate, expert dentist can make all the difference in your experience and in your results. Please call (509) 927-2273 today for an appointment at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane Valley.
Symptoms of an Infected Tooth
Root canal therapy treats an infected or abscessed tooth. The symptoms of an infected tooth include:
- Spontaneous tooth pain
- Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure
- Tooth turns black
- Pimple-like sore on gums
- Foul taste in mouth
- Chronic bad breath
- Tooth or gums feels hot
Severe tooth pain that wakes you up or makes it impossible to go about your normal activity usually means you have an infected tooth. Most people think that an infected tooth always hurts. This isn’t true. Often the tooth hurts because bacteria growing inside the tooth cause crowding. Crowding puts pressure on the tooth nerve, which leads to pain. But if an infected tooth drains regularly, there’s no pressure and may be little to no pain.
Why an Infected Tooth Can Be Deadly
It’s important to treat an infected tooth as a dental emergency. Contact a dentist immediately for evaluation and try to get treatment as soon as possible.
Your tooth is a sheltered place where bacteria can reproduce with little risk from your immune system. Antibiotics don’t easily reach there, either. Bacteria can build up a very large population that can then spread out from there. They can enter the blood and cause a deadly blood infection (septicemia). Or they can infect your sinuses and then your brain. Sometimes they can even enter your lungs and cause pneumonia. And they can travel through your jaw to enter neighboring teeth.
How Root Canal Therapy Works
In root canal therapy, we remove the infection from inside your tooth. That’s why the procedure is technically called an endodontic (inside-tooth) procedure. We drill into the tooth, then scoop out the infected material. Once this is removed and the tooth is thoroughly disinfected, we place inert material inside. This provides the support and cushion your tooth needs, but won’t get infected.
Once the treatment is complete, we put a dental crown on top to seal and protect the tooth. The tooth can then function normally.
During the procedure there is little to no discomfort. After the procedure, you may want to take over-the-counter medications for a few days, but with the tooth nerve gone, there is actually little pain in the tooth.
Root Canal Therapy or Dental Implant?
If you have an infected tooth, you might also consider removing it and replacing it with a dental implant or bridge. Both are good options, with very high success rates (over 95%) and long-lasting results (decades to life). Which is best for you depends on the exact circumstances of your infection and oral health.
Need Root Canal Therapy in Spokane Valley?
If you have an infected tooth and are looking for root canal therapy, please call (509) 927-2273 today for an appointment with a Spokane Valley dentist at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics.