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Geoffrey A. Iverson DDS

Root Canal Therapy Montgomery, MN

Toothaches tend to come in two varieties: the I-can-handle-the-pain kind of toothache and the I-can’t-go-on kind. If you would describe your discomfort as feeling more like pressure, then perhaps there is a particle of food trapped between two teeth. Try flossing and see if that helps.

On the other hand, if your toothache interferes with work and sleep then you probably need to come see Dr. Iverson as soon as possible. He will examine the tooth and a digital x-ray will be taken that shows whether or not there is infection inside. If so, then a root canal will likely be needed. Also called root canal therapy, this procedure removes the infection and preserves the remaining tooth structure.

How Does a Tooth Become Infected?

To understand how a tooth becomes infected, let’s first consider the construction. The crown of a tooth is coated with enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Below the enamel is dentin, a slightly softer and more porous material that transmits sensation to the nerve inside each tooth. That nerve, along with blood and lymph tissue, is housed in the pulp chamber and runs down into the roots through canals.

Despite this fortress-like protection, bacteria can infect the pulp chamber and root canals. How? If a tooth has an expansive cavity, a penetrating crack or serious fracture that is not treated quickly, then bacteria gain access to the chamber and canals.

What are the Signs of Tooth Infection?

The #1 sign is a toothache. As the infection sets in, inflammation develops within the confines of the tooth. The resulting pain is often unbearable. But believe it or not, some people do not experience any pain at with an infected tooth. In this case, they may only be recognizable on x-rays, making your regular dental checkups all the more important.

Other signs and symptoms are:

How is Root Canal Performed?

First of all, Dr. Iverson wants you to know that most of the rumors about root canal are not true. A root canal is not painful and it doesn’t take all day. With today’s local anesthetics, you will be completely comfortable and not feel any discomfort during the procedure.

Once the site is anesthetized, Dr. Iverson creates an access hole in the biting surface of your tooth. Then, small files are used to remove the infection and other contents of the pulp chamber and canals. Your tooth can function normally without these. The tooth is then filled with gutta-percha, a biocompatible substance, and sealed. A crown will eventually be placed to protect and support the remaining tooth structure.

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