There are some health conditions that simply need time to heal: a scrape on your knee, or a cut on your finger. What’s crucial is that you clean those cuts when they occur to prevent infection. Once infection takes hold, it can spread and worsen over time. Infected teeth are no different. If you have a cavity, it’s the product of bacterial infection that is growing. You need to remove and clean the infection for your tooth to recover. If your tooth infection has spread internally, it can jeopardize the health of the entire tooth. In that case, root canal therapy is your chance to save an infected tooth.
How Bacterial Infections Spread Through Teeth
Bacteria are naturally present in your mouth. That’s why it’s important to brush and floss consistently. The bacteria present in your mouth right now aren’t harming your teeth, but if you allow them to sit and grow on the surfaces of your teeth, they start to do damage. When a cavity forms, bacteria have corroded your dental enamel and started to burrow into your tooth. Eventually, the bacteria will hit the dentin and pulp of your tooth. From there, the infection can spread through the tissue and into the root canals of your tooth. The root canals are a passageway to the other tissues in your mouth, so once the infection reaches this point, it can spread to other parts of your body.
Root Canal Therapy Can Remove the Infection and Preserve the Tooth
The goal of restorative dental treatment is to prevent bacteria from ever reaching these sensitive parts of your teeth. A dental filling can repair a small cavity before it becomes too serious. If you don’t treat your cavity with a filling in time, you may need a dental crown to repair the damage. If you wait until the infection has spread to your root canals, you need root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is a procedure during which your dentist will carefully access the root canal, extract all of the bacteria and infected tissue, seal the canal, and then place a dental crown over your tooth to protect it from further infection.
If you Wait on Root Canal Therapy, You May Need a Dental Implant
Waiting on a dental filling is a bad idea because it leads to more extensive dental treatment. Waiting on root canal therapy is an especially bad idea, because it may lead to tooth loss. If the infection becomes so severe that it jeopardizes the integrity of the tooth and the health of your other teeth, then your tooth will probably have to be extracted. In that case, a prosthetic, like a dental implant, will be needed to replace your now missing tooth.
ABOUT YOUR AUSTIN, MN, DENTIST:
Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.