The inside of a tooth can become infected when bacteria gets in through damaged or weakened enamel, or when a restoration such as a filling or crown becomes loose.
Sometimes, pain might be the first indication that a tooth is infected but often it can go undetected because the nerves in damaged teeth can die slowly, desensitising it over time.
If left untreated, the tooth can become discoloured or the root could die.
This is why a regular dental check-up is an important step in the maintenance of a healthy smile.
We have several tests, including temperature testing, percussion (tap) testing, and X-rays, that allow us to identify if a tooth has died and to decide if it requires root canal treatment to prevent acute pain from developing.
During root canal treatment, the top of the infected tooth is removed so that the dentist can access the internal infection. Thin files are then used to remove the infection and a disinfectant is applied to clear out further bacteria.
Once the treatment is over, a crown may be fitted to strengthen and protect the tooth.
A well-made and well-fitting crown, combined with good oral health and regular check-ups and maintenance with your dentist, can ensure your tooth lasts a lifetime.
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