How do you heal a persistent root canal infection?


Quick Answer

Sometimes a repeat root canal is needed due to infection. When the soft tissue, called pulp, becomes infected, a dentist drills into the tooth, removes the diseased pulp, cleans and dries the empty chamber, inserts a filling, and then seals the hole, reports Mayo Clinic. If a tooth cannot be saved using antibiotics, it has to be extracted and replaced with an implant or a bridge.

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Full Answer

A tooth has from one to four roots connecting the pulp tissue in the chamber to surrounding gum tissue in the jaw, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation. The tissue in the canals and tooth chamber can become infected either via a hole or crack in the tooth or by an infection or abscess in the gum tissue. In both cases, a root canal operation is generally required, states Mayo Clinic.

Fillings are necessary to prevent bacteria from re-entering the chamber, and a variety of materials can be used, reports Mayo Clinic. The cap, or crown, over a tooth that has undergone the root canal procedure is typically fashioned from porcelain, which is tinted to match the surrounding teeth, or gold. Sometimes the dentist needs to anchor the restoration by drilling into the bone structure and inserting a metal post.

Advances in the root canal procedure allow dentists to save infected teeth that would have been lost a few years ago, states the American Association of Endodontists. Costs of root canal treatment vary depending on the tooth's location and severity of the infection.

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