What is the Best Way to Care for an Infected Tooth Root?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
What is the Best Way to Care for an Infected Tooth Root?

Learn all about tooth extractions and root canal procedures.

If you’re dealing with an infected tooth root, you may be wondering whether or not your tooth can be saved.

Thinking about a root canal or tooth extraction might evoke some nervous feelings, and that’s normal. Learning more about both procedures and what an endodontist can do to treat your infected root can help to put your mind at ease. An endodontist will determine how compromised your tooth is from the infection and provide the best option for treatment. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in providing therapy for the roots of the tooth.

Two Endodontic Treatment Options: Extraction vs. Root Canal Therapy

1. Tooth Extraction

infected tooth rootSometimes an endodontist is unable to save a natural tooth due to the severity of the infection. If the cavity is so large that it completely compromises the structure of the tooth, it makes it too fragile to hold up to the repair. Another reason for a tooth extraction is a severe crack or fracture. According to the American Association of Endodontics, a tooth cannot be saved if the fracture extends beyond the gum line.

An infected tooth root is painful and unpleasant, but perhaps even more unpleasant than the pain is the thought that your natural tooth will have to be extracted. After your tooth has been extracted, you’ll have to deal with the cause and effect of a missing tooth: the shifting of your other teeth, the inability to chew properly, and the aesthetics of a missing tooth. You may need to receive subsequent procedures to address these side effects of your extraction.

2. Root Canal Therapy

If you want to save your natural tooth, and your infection is not severe enough to warrant an extraction, then a root canal performed by an endodontist is your best option. You won’t have to worry about missing teeth or further dental procedures. A root canal procedure saves the tooth by removing the infected tooth pulp.

During root canal therapy, after the infected pulp is removed, your root canal specialist will thoroughly clean and shape the root canal, preparing it for the gutta percha, the sealant that fills and seals space. At this point, your endodontist will place a temporary filling to protect the work that has already been done. You’ll return at a later appointment to receive a permanent dental restoration. This will complete the look and strength of your tooth and better secure your endodontic treatment.

Root canal aftercare is pretty straightforward. Try to avoid chewing on the side of your root canal procedure and avoid any hard foods until you receive your permanent crown or restoration. When brushing and flossing, be sure to take your time and be gentle so as not to disrupt the treated area. After a root canal, you may experience some pain or discomfort, but you can take over the counter medication to help with pain and inflammation. If the pain or discomfort persists, you should contact your dentist.

Care You Can Trust for Your Infected Tooth Root

If you’re unsure about the next step to take for your infected tooth root, please contact Penn Dental Family Practice at (215) 898-PDFP (7337) to schedule an appointment. Let one of our endodontists provide you with a consultation and help you save your smile.