Root Canal Therapy

a smiling patient after a root canal at State Street Dental
The teeth are the strongest substance in the human body. While they can withstand a substantial amount of daily wear and tear, they are not indestructible. In fact, there are many issues that can cause serious harm, leaving the affected teeth vulnerable to significant damage and painful infections. Infections in your teeth can harm not only your oral health, but your overall health as well. At State Street Dental, we can treat a tooth infection with root canal therapy.

How Do I Get a Tooth Infection?

A tooth infection occurs when bacteria gets inside of your tooth. But just how does this happen? Your teeth are made up of several layers. The outermost layer, called the enamel, is the hardest substance in your body. Below the enamel is the dentin. While not as hard as your enamel, it is still very strong. It also contains hollow channels that lead to the roots of your teeth. Below the dentin is a hollow chamber that houses soft tissue called pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels as well as nerves.

While the teeth are incredibly strong, they can still suffer physical damage and decay. If the damage goes past the enamel into the dentin, bacteria can get inside. There, they begin to multiply and attack the pulp of the tooth. This causes the pulp to become irritated and inflamed, which can cause a significant amount of pain. Once an infection develops, treatment is needed right away. Without treatment, bacteria continue to multiply, and can begin spilling out through the root of the tooth leading to the formation of an abscess.

What are the Symptoms of an Infection?

A toothache is one of the most common symptoms of an infection. It is not, however, the only one. In fact, an infection can be present even without the presence of pain. There are several other symptoms that may occur as well.
•  Your jaw, as well as your face, can swell near the infected tooth.
•  You may experience lingering pain or sensitivity, even though the irritant is no longer present. This type of discomfort can be indicative of a dying nerve.
•  You have a bad taste in your mouth that will not go away.
•  An abscess develops.
•  You begin to lose bone mass in your jaw.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a treatment used to eliminate an infection from a tooth, which allows us to save it. With this treatment, the infected pulp is removed from the affected tooth, and the entire interior is cleaned and disinfected. By performing a root canal, we can help to prevent the need for a tooth extraction.

Restoring Your Oral Health

A root canal is performed under a local anesthetic. This helps to ensure that you do not feel any pain and that you are able to remain comfortable during the procedure. If you are exceptionally nervous, sedation can also be provided. The procedure begins with a small access hole being drilled into the top of the infected tooth. Next, small tools are used to remove the pulp and the nerve. The canals are shaped and the entire inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. A material called gutta percha is used to fill in the empty space, which helps to seal the canals. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth to provide additional protection and restore strength.

Treating a tooth infection not only restores your oral health, it also helps to improve your quality of life and prevent serious issues from developing. If you suspect an infection, call State Street Dental today at (971) 332-3020 for more information and to schedule your consultation.

Get In Touch!

(971) 332-3020


1800 State St.
Salem, OR 97301-4343

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