How a Root Canal Treatment Can Save an InfectedTooth

Root Canal Treatment Los Angeles, CA

When a tooth is severely infected, aroot canal treatment may be necessary. This dental procedure helps to eliminate tooth pain, and in some situations it can save a tooth from having to be extracted. The root canal is the chamber between the pulp and the nerve roots, and it houses the blood vessels and nerves of a tooth. There are numerous things that can cause a tooth's pulp to become infected. Root canal treatment removes the nerves of the tooth, alleviating the pain and helping to preserve the tooth.

Causes of an infected tooth

One of the main causes of an infected tooth is severe tooth decay. If a cavity remains untreated, the decay can gets worse until it eventually reaches the core of the tooth. Another common cause is damage due to an accident or an overly large filling. Cracks and chips can compromise the structure of a tooth and make it vulnerable to a bacterial infection.

The root canal treatment procedure

During a root canal treatment, the material of the infected tooth is cleaned out, and the tooth is sealed to avoid any future reinfection. The procedure consists of multiple steps.

Preparation of the area

To determine the extent of the infection, the dentist takes an X-ray of the teeth and decides on a course of treatment. To prepare for the procedure, a rubber dam is placed in the patient's mouth to ensure that the tooth remains dry throughout the process.

Treatment process

When beginning the treatment, the dentist creates a hole in the tooth to gain access to the infected area. The infected pulp and nerve tissues are removed. The chamber is then cleaned thoroughly to make sure there is no remaining infected material. 

Sealing of the tooth

After the chamber is clean, the dentist seals it with a dental material. The final step of a root canal treatment is usually the placement of a dental crown. However, it generally takes about 10 to 14 days to manufacture a permanent crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown may be placed over the access hole to protect the tooth.

Tooth restoration

Once the crown is ready, the patient comes in for a final appointment. During this visit, the crown is fitted and attached to the tooth. After the procedure is complete, the patient generally does not have any specific aftercare instructions. If there is any temporary sensitivity to the treated area, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever is usually sufficient.


A severely infected tooth can have dire consequences. A root canal treatment is commonly recommended for an infected tooth that is too damaged for other dental procedures. This treatment helps to relieve the pain associated with the infection, and it also prevents additional decay and infection. If the infection is severe, a tooth is often at risk of needing to be taken out, but a root canal procedure can often prevent this. 

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