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Root Canal Therapy in Clearwater, FL. When the tooth’s pulp becomes infected, it may necessitate a root canal. This procedure is typically painless and serves to preserve the natural tooth, halt infection spread, and restore a healthy, vibrant smile.
The procedure starts with local anesthesia and placing a protective rubber dam. An opening is made at the top of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. A dental file cleans the infected tissue and shapes the root canals. X-rays ensure complete removal of infected pulp before filling. Restoration typically involves placing a dental crown, but severe damage may require initial reconstruction with a post and core.
In order for the dentist to access the infected tooth pulp, an opening is made through the top of the tooth to get down into the pulp chamber. A tiny instrument, called a dental file, is then carefully used to clean out the infected tissue and to shape the root canals to receive a filling. X-rays may be done to ensure that all of the infected pulp is removed before the filling is placed.
After the infected pulp is removed, the restoration is placed. In most cases a crown is placed by the dentist to protect and strengthen the tooth. However, if the tooth is severely broken down, it may be necessary to start by building up the tooth with a post and core.
There are two common causes of infection: cavities and fractured/broken teeth. Both expose the pulp area to bacteria that live in saliva. These bacteria can cause an infection that can kill the pulp.
Without treatment, pus from the infected tooth can spread to the root tip and eventually pass to the jaw bone. This can cause an abscess (a pus pocket) that can damage the bone that surrounds the tooth. The pressure this causes can cause excruciating pain and, left untreated, can be life-threatening. An infected tooth can not heal on its own and will only get worse.
Symptoms tend to vary from patient to patient. Infected teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold, the area may be swollen or painful, or there may be a bad taste in the mouth. Occasionally there will be no symptoms at all.