Saving An Infected Tooth With Root Canal Therapy

When a tooth becomes infected, this not only leads to serious discomfort, but the risk of losing the tooth altogether. In order to repair the damage and protect your natural tooth, your North Hollywood, CA, dentist may recommend a root canal procedure. How does a root canal preserve your smile and prevent the loss of a tooth?

How Does a Tooth Become Infected?

An infection arises when harmful bacteria reaches the inner pulp, the group of living tissues at the center of your tooth and in the root canals that control the flow of blood and nutrients moving to and from the tooth. The pulp keeps your tooth alive and functional, but an untreated infection could kill the pulp, allowing infection to spread to surrounding teeth unless treated quickly. The pulp becomes exposed when a tooth is cracked or broken, or if poor oral hygiene allows a cavity to form that isn’t treated in a timely manner. Warning signs may include pain when biting down or eating, a discharge from the tooth, swelling near the tooth, fever, and headaches. If you experience one or more of these potential warning signs, then please alert our office right away.

The Root Canal Treatment Option

To ensure your comfort, we first administer a local anesthetic and if necessary, may discuss sedation options. We then open the tooth and remove the infected tissue from within. We clean the inside of the tooth and the root canals thoroughly, and add a restorative material known as gutta percha. Finally, we cure the material and cap the tooth with a custom-made dental crown. The crown will cover the tooth and protect it from pain and injury. We can also take steps to ensure the crown looks natural, blending with the rest of your smile. The procedure halts the infection and restores the tooth to full function and beauty.

Preventing Further Infection or Abscess

To avoid infections, wear mouthguards when playing sports to limit injury, and see us every six months so we can perform an exam and clean your teeth. At home, be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using a fluoridated toothpaste. You also need to floss every night before going to bed, and cut back on sugary foods and drinks. If you have any questions about avoiding the onset of a dental infection, or if you worry you have one that requires treatment, then contact our team today. Don’t let a cavity become something much more serious and threaten the stability of your smile!


We want to treat infected teeth and prevent the loss of your teeth. To learn more about our dependable restorative treatment options, then please schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Chan by calling MMC Dental in Houston, TX, today at (713) 926-8896.