Keep Your Teeth Healthy by Removing an Infection
Having a root canal may not be “fun,” but it doesn’t need to be an experience that you dread. As a top dentist who specializes in endodontics, Dr. Julie Jang regularly treats tooth decay in a way that minimizes discomfort. Better yet, endodontic treatments help your natural teeth to become healthier and survive in your mouth for a long time.
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the pulp, or soft tissue, inside your teeth. At Harmony Family Dentistry, Dr. Jang prioritizes minimally invasive procedures that only remove the damaged or infected parts of the tooth.
What Causes Tooth Infection?
Sometimes, bacteria get into the center of a tooth, infecting the pulp. This is most likely to occur when a cavity goes untreated for too long, since tooth decay makes it easier for bacteria to access the pulp. A simple filling can prevent a more serious dental problem later, which is why Dr. Julie stresses the importance of treating cavities early. Infection is also more likely for a cracked or chipped tooth.
Tooth Decay Symptoms and Diagnosis
While the symptoms of early infection are subtle enough to go unnoticed, as it progresses you may notice:
- A frequent ache deep in your tooth
- Discomfort when you eat or drink food that is particularly hot or cold
- Swollen, tender, or bumpy gums around your tooth
- Your tooth feels looser than your other teeth
- Jaw pain
If you notice symptoms of tooth decay, schedule an appointment with Dr. Julie so she can examine the tooth. She uses advanced digital imaging technology to confirm whether the tooth’s pulp is infected.
Endodontics Procedures: A Less Invasive Approach
Traditionally, a root canal is performed by cleaning out the pulp and nerve at the root of the tooth, then filling in the vacant space so that the infection cannot spread. Removing the pulp later in life poses no problem since its primary purpose was to help your adult teeth fully develop. Usually, a dental crown is necessary to provide additional protection to your tooth.
In recent years, new technology has emerged that makes this process much less invasive. While most dentists, especially general dentists, do not yet have this technology, Dr. Julie is proud to offer it to her patients.
With her special equipment, Dr. Julie can more precisely remove just the infected part of the pulp, leaving the rest intact. This ensures that the tooth is more structurally sound and less likely to have complications or require a crown. Dr. Julie likes this approach because it is more effective at cleaning out the infection. Her patients like it because it makes the procedure quicker and they experience minimal discomfort.
Long Lasting Results
Following minimally invasive treatment, your tooth can remain healthy for years, decades, or even a lifetime, depending on how well you care for your tooth and the extent of the original infection. Treat a tooth that has undergone endodontic care like your other teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly remains important to prevent the tooth (as well as your other teeth) from becoming infected.
Schedule an Appointment
If you suspect you have a tooth infection, or if another dentist has diagnosed you with a tooth infection and you would prefer a minimally invasive approach to root canal, please make an appointment at Harmony Family Dentistry in Vancouver, Washington by calling 360-882-7866.