Severe tooth decay can cause significant damage to the enamel of a single tooth. This can seriously compromise your ability to chew and potentially give you an unappealing smile. A large area of decay might not leave enough healthy enamel for your dentist to anchor a filling. In a situation like this, the root might be infected, requiring the dentist to perform a root canal.
Symptoms of an infected root might include a large area of tooth decay with sensitivity and pain, this might also include a large filling that has fallen out or pain in the tooth and surrounding gums. Left unresolved, the pain in the tooth might slowly go away, leaving the tooth numb, yet still damaged.
During the initial appointment, the dentist will usually take a series of x-rays to assess the health of the tooth and the root. If the area of decay has advanced to infect the root, the dentist might need to perform a root canal.
In most cases a root canal procedure requires two separate appointments. Once the extent of the infection in the root has been assessed, the dentist will use a drill to remove damaged enamel. This will allow them access to the infected parts of the root. After the infection has been resolved, the root structure will be replaced with a rubbery material called gutta-percha. The dentist can then create an abutment to anchor a crown.
A The crown effectively replaces the enamel of your tooth, restoring the full function of your mouth. This involves the dentist taking impression of the area that will be sent to a dental laboratory where that makes your permanent crown.
At a brief second procedure, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement the new permanent crown in place.
If you have a tooth has been damaged or suffers from excessive decay, please call us at 770.725.7377 to schedule an appointment.