Jamie L. Guthrie, DDS

Dr. Jamie Guthrie

Heal a Tooth Infection with Gentle Root Canal Therapy

Smiling man in a suit Bodily infections are commonly treated with antibiotics. Tooth infection may also be partially treated with medication, but a procedure called root canal therapy is often required in order to completely excise the infection. A root canal removes the infection as well as the tissue contents housed inside a tooth. And because an infected tooth is often quite painful, the procedure becomes all the more imperative. Dr. Guthrie, your dentist in Ardmore, is adept at performing root canal therapy that preserves your tooth so you can avoid extraction.

How Does a Tooth Become Infected?

Your teeth are strong—really strong. Each one is covered in an outer layer of enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Underneath the enamel is dentin, another tough layer filled with tubules that transmit sensations such as hot and cold to the nerve inside your tooth. That nerve, as well as blood and lymph tissue, is in the pulp chamber and root canals.

Problems can begin when the acids excreted by oral bacteria erode the enamel and a cavity forms. If not caught and treated in a timely fashion, those same bacteria migrate to the pulp chamber, infecting the tissue.

What are the Signs of an Infected Tooth?

The first sign is usually a serious toothache. For many people, the pain is unbearable so they head to the hospital emergency room. More often than not, the doctors there can only prescribe pain relief and recommend that you see a dentist for root canal in Ardmore.

Other common signs include:

How is a Root Canal Performed?

The first step is ensuring your comfort. Dr. Guthrie will administer a local anesthetic to deaden the tooth and surrounding tissue. We also offer sedation dentistry. If you’d like, there’s nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation to help you relax during the procedure.

Once the site is anesthetized, Dr. Guthrie drills a small access hole and then uses special instruments to remove the infection and the tissue that fills the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. Fortunately, a tooth can function without these tissues. The space is disinfected and filled with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material that supports the remaining structure and prevent recontamination. Finally, the tooth is sealed and prepared for a customized dental that will restore form and function.

If you need to have an infected tooth treated, call Dr. Guthrie, your dentist near me.

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