Every part of your tooth is important and serves a purpose. In particular, the pulp is a vital part of your tooth since it contains the blood vessels and nerves that keep your teeth healthy, and the tissue that helps connect your teeth to your gums. However, from to time the pulp can become infected, and needs to be removed. The infection is the result of your tooth being compromised. This can happen as the result of a cavity, a trauma such as a crack or break in the tooth, damage to the tooth that is too small to see, or even repeated dental work on the tooth. Symptoms of infected tooth pulp usually include pain, sensitivity, and tender and swollen gums.
The process of removing the infected pulp is called a root canal. While the infected pulp is removed, your tooth can be repaired and continue to serve you. Your dentist will take an x-ray and do an examination to determine if a root canal is needed. If a root canal is required, the dentist will make an opening in your tooth, remove the diseased pulp, and clean the area. The dentist will then shape and enlarge the chamber before filling it with what is called a gutta-percha, which is the material that will take the place of the pulp. The tooth will be sealed and if necessary, your dentist will place a crown over the tooth to protect it.
With the the advances in modern dentistry, the tooth can last for the rest of your life. You will still need to brush and floss, and see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. If you have a toothache, are experiencing the symptoms of infected tooth pulp, or if it is time for your regular dental appointment, our dentist, Dr, H. Michael Long will be happy to see you. To make an appointment at H. Michael Long, DDS in Tullahoma, Tennessee, give us a call at 931-455-2595. We look forward to seeing you.