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Root Canal Infection and Tooth Loss

Dr. Degel Jun 5, 2016

An illustration of a cross-section of a toothAsk the average person what a root canal is, and the chances are good that he or she will respond that it is a dental procedure, and a painful one at that. That person would be wrong on both counts. Many people confuse a root canal, which is an anatomical structure within each tooth, with root canal therapy, a dental procedure that, contrary to its reputation, is actually relatively painless. Indeed, root canal therapy is responsible for putting an end to more pain than virtually any other general dentistry procedure in history.

This is because root canal infections are among the most common causes of excruciating tooth and mouth pain. Unfortunately, if left untreated, they are also among the most common causes of tooth loss among adults. Drs. Clifford Degel and Carmen Every-Degel discuss the relationship between root canal infection and tooth loss during appointments at their Queens, NY cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice whenever they diagnose root canal infections in patients. They emphasize the importance of treating the infection immediately and salvaging the natural tooth while it is still possible.

If you are currently experiencing tooth pain, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Astoria Dental Group to have your mouth examined.

How a Root Canal Infection Can Lead to Tooth Loss

Each of your teeth contains between one and four chambers called root canals. Within each of these canals, there is a substance called dental pulp, which is rich in blood vessels, nerves, and nutrients that keep the tooth alive. As long as the root canal remains closed off to the outside elements, this dental pulp remains healthy and can serve its function. However, if the root canal is compromised, the dental pulp can become infected, which in turn can cause overwhelming tooth pain.

This pain signals to a person that something is wrong and that immediate treatment is necessary. If the person seeks immediate treatment, it is usually possible to salvage the natural tooth through a process called root canal therapy. One of our dentists creates an opening in the crown of the tooth, through which the infected dental pulp is withdrawn from the root canal. The root canal is then thoroughly cleansed and disinfected, after which the dental pulp is replaced with a filler substance. The tooth is then sealed and covered with a temporary crown until it can be replaced by a natural-looking, custom-crafted crown.

This represents the best-case scenario, which is entirely possible as long as the patient seeks timely treatment. If a root canal infection is left untreated, however, the infection will eventually spread to the extent that the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced with an implant-supported restoration or a traditional fixed dental bridge. Otherwise, the tooth will simply die in the mouth, which is the absolute worst thing that could happen.

Learn More about Root Canal Infections and Tooth Loss

To learn more about the connection between root canal infection and tooth loss, please contact Astoria Dental Group today.

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