An infected pulp can be very painful. It is nothing to ignore. Pulpitis results from bacteria invading the pulp tissue inside your tooth. That bacterial infection must be stopped before it can spread to other parts of your body through your blood system.
What Is an Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontic treatment is a dental procedure intended to save an infected tooth rather than extract it. It involves the removal of infected or injured pulp, the soft part of the tooth.
Is It Painful?
For whatever reasons, a root canal has come to have a bad rap. It often serves as a metaphor for all kinds of very unpleasant experiences.
In reality, dentists employ several methods of pain relief. Endodontic treatments are painless because of local anesthetics such as novocaine and similar drugs.
However, some patients suffer from dental anxiety or even dental phobia, which is defined as a crippling fear of the dentist’s chair. Endodontists such as Long Island Endodontics in Woodmere NY practice sedation dentistry that is successful to put patients at ease before a painless endodontic treatment.
A tooth is comprised of different parts including, of course, the visible enamel. Within the tooth structure is dentin. Dentin forms a base for enamel and encases a chamber (canal) that contains the pulp, a soft tissue combination of blood vessels and nerves.
The pulp serves three purposes:
- Alert system for signaling pain and, therefore, injury or inflammation
- Formation of the dentin that encases the pulp
- Tooth nourishment through blood vessels
What Causes Need for Endodontic Treatment?
Injury to or infection of the pulp causes the need for endodontic treatment. Tooth decay and bacteria are the principal causes of pulpitis, an inflammation of the pulp. Pulpitis causes pain.
Some pulpitis can be reversible with antibiotics (e.g. amoxicillin or clindamycin) to kill the infection.
If the pulpitis is not reversible the tooth must be extracted unless an endodontic treatment can be performed to save it.
Symptoms of Pulpitis
See your dentist immediately if you have any of these symptoms:
- Severe pain while chewing or biting
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Persistent sensitivity to hot or cold
- Painful or swollen gums
After preparing the patient and administering a pain-killing anesthetic, the endodontist makes an opening in the tooth crown.
Through the opening, they will remove the damaged or infected pulp. Then with very small instruments, they will clean out the space left by the removal.
After the cavity is cleaned and shaped, the endodontist will fill it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is sealed with adhesive cement.
There might be a follow-up visit to make sure the canal is sealed and possibly to install a crown to repair any other damage.
If you have any of the symptoms of pulpitis, you should consult your regular dentist immediately. They will probably refer you to an endodontist who specializes in root canals.
Come visit us at Long Island Endodontics in Woodmere NY. We have three board-certified endodontists with many years of specialized experience with oral surgery including endodontic treatments.