Root Canal Therapy

Your teeth are incredibly strong and can stand up to a substantial amount of daily use. Despite their strength, however, they can still be faced with decay and damage such as cracks or chips. In the event of severe damage, damage that extends into the inner layers of your teeth, infections can develop. At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, we can treat infected teeth with root canal therapy.

Getting an Infection in Your Tooth

Your teeth may look simple from the outside, but they are quite complex. Below the outermost layer, the enamel, there is a dentin layer. The enamel is the hardest substance in your body. The dentin is also hard, though not as hard as the enamel. This layer also has a series of hollow canals that lead to the roots of the tooth. Below the dentin is pulp chamber and the pulp. The pulp is soft tissue, which contains both blood vessels as well as nerves.

When damage extends past the enamel layer and into the dentin, a path to the interior of your tooth is opened up. Bacteria can travel into the tooth through this damage. Once inside the tooth, they begin to multiply, filling the canals and the pulp chamber. As they do, they begin to irritate your pulp, which can lead to inflammation and severe pain. When an infection develops inside the tooth, often the best treatment is a root canal.

Symptoms of an Infection

A painful toothache is the most common symptom of a tooth infection. There are other symptoms that may show up as well.
•  Swelling in the face and jaw near the infected tooth.
•  Pain and sensitivity that lingers.
•  A chronic bad taste in your mouth.
•  Bone loss in your jaw.
•  The development of a dental abscess. An abscess develops when bacteria begin to spill out of the tooth root. A sac forms in an attempt to contain the bacteria. The longer you go without treatment, the larger it becomes. It can even rupture, which can let bacteria enter your bloodstream.

Diagnosing a Tooth Infection

At the first sign of an infection, it is crucial that you schedule an appointment for an exam immediately. With an exam, we can diagnose an infection and provide you with the treatment you need right away. During your exam, we look inside your mouth, checking your teeth for damage and your gums for signs of an infection. We also take X-rays. With these images, we can see damage to your tooth roots, bone loss, and abscesses. If we determine the presence of an infection, we can then create a customized treatment plan to restore the health of your mouth.

Treating an Infection with Root Canal Therapy

A root canal is performed under a local anesthetic. Treatment starts with a small access hole drilled into the top of the infected tooth. We then use small tools to remove the infected pulp and the nerves. Next, we shape the canals and clean them out. The entire interior of the tooth is disinfected. We then place a material called gutta percha into the space inside the tooth. This material helps to seal the canals, preventing new bacterial invasion. Finally, a dental crown is placed. The crown works to provide strength to the tooth so it can function normally and also helps to prevent a new infection from developing.

If you have noticed any symptoms of an infection, it is crucial that you seek treatment right away. Call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery today at (734) 455-0710 for more information and to schedule your consultation.


9416 S. Main St. Suite 211
Plymouth, MI. 48170

Call (734) 455-0710


1303 S. Main St. Suite B
Chelsea, MI. 48118

Call (734) 475-0710

Ann Arbor

3055 Plymouth Road Suite 202
Ann Arbor, MI. 48105

Call (734) 761-5885


1900 Packard Road
Ypsilanti, MI. 48197

Call (734) 481-0010

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