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Root Canal – St. Peters, MO

illustration of infected toothNot all toothaches are created equal. Some are just annoying—like when you have a piece of food stuck between two teeth. That’s when you probably need to floss to get rid of the discomfort. (Never place a sharp tool in your mouth to dislodge anything!) However, when a toothache is so bad that you can’t think of anything else or you can’t sleep at night, then you may have an infected tooth. For this there is root canal therapy. Read on to learn more about how tooth infection develops and how a root canal in St. Peters, MO can save the tooth and your smile.

Do I Really Need a Root Canal?

man in painAn X-ray will show Dr. Cayo for certain whether or not you need a root canal. However, if you’re experiencing a terrible toothache, then chances are you really do need one.

What’s causing the pain? As with a lot of bodily aches and pain, the culprit is inflammation. The infection grows and takes up more space inside the confines of your tooth, and the resulting inflammation sets off the tooth’s nerve. Ouch!

Other signs of an infected tooth include:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Pain when you bite or chew
  • A sore on the gum tissue near the infected tooth
  • Swelling near the sore side of your face
  • Fever

In rare cases, an infected tooth does not show any signs or symptoms. That’s why biannual dental exams are important. Dr. Cayo can see the infection on an X-ray even if you’re not having any other symptoms.

What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?

smiling manFirst, let’s be clear—a root canal is not painful. Unfortunately, they have that reputation. But in fact, a root canal is the procedure that eliminates the pain of an infected tooth.

Dr. Cayo first anesthetizes the tooth and surrounding tissue. Our practice also offers sedation dentistry with nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation if you’re feeling nervous about the procedure.

Then special hand files are inserted through a small hole in order to remove the infection from inside your tooth. The space is disinfected and filled with, a biocompatible material that expands to support the remaining tooth structure. Finally, the tooth is tightly sealed to prevent recontamination and prepared to receive a dental crown. Once the crown is in place, you have a restored tooth that looks and performs just like one of your natural teeth.