Acute pain from a tooth is often an indicator of infection and involvement of the root of the tooth. There are three layers to a tooth. Before dental decay can cause a serious problem, it has to go through at least two of those layers. When it attacks the third layer, the situation is critical.
The first layer of a tooth is made of enamel, a substance which is harder than the bones in your body. Decay usually begins in this layer and over time eats through the enamel until it reaches the second layer or the dentin. Decay spreads faster here because this substance is softer than the enamel. It may also be somewhat more sensitive the closer the decay gets to the third layer – the pulp or root of the tooth. In the pulp are the nerve endings and once this area is attacked by decay the nerves can begin to die. The infection may cause an abscess to form at the root of the tooth. At this juncture the only way to save the tooth with restorative dentistry would be through root canal therapy or RCT.
There are many myths and false beliefs about root canal therapy. The truth is, RCT is often the only way to alleviate the pain from an infected tooth while saving the tooth from extraction. Pain comes as a result of the nerve in the tooth dying as infection builds up and causes swelling. RCT involves cleaning out all the decay in the tooth and the root of the tooth. When the dead nerve tissue is removed and the canal is thoroughly cleaned out, a special filling material is placed in the root to keep bacteria out and prevent further damage. The remainder of the tooth is then filled with the appropriate filling material. Your dentist will explain the details of the procedure to you at the time of your dental visit.
Once the nerves of the tooth are completely removed and the site has a chance to heal, you should not feel any more pain from the tooth. The experience and skill with which root canal therapy is performed at Meadowbrook Family Dental should remove any fears you have about the procedure. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and get the relief you need from tooth pain.