Do you remember what it was like as a child to have a splinter in your finger? If so, you’re well aware of the drama and tears brought on by this very minor problem. You wanted the pain to go away, but the idea of having the splinter removed seemed infinitely more painful. As adults, we no longer cry when we encounter splinters, but some things never change; our fear of pain can keep us from taking action—even in important health matters. Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, who treats adults with infected root canals in Astoria, NY, helps you understand the urgency of acting quickly.
“Why can’t I just treat it with something from the drugstore?”
First, you have to understand that an infection in your tooth does not behave like infections affecting other areas of your body. For example, you can usually treat minor skin infections, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections at home; only rarely do these require a visit to your doctor. Attempting to treat an infected tooth without help from your dentist will inevitably result in even more pain and the potential for a more severe infection. The infection spreads to the bony socket holding the tooth in place. Bone and tissue are destroyed; the tooth may even fall out. Need we remind you of the consequences of adult tooth loss?
“How do you treat an infected tooth?”
Treating the infection isn’t as simple as dabbing on an antibacterial ointment; the infection begins deep within the tooth structure. Your dentist must first gain access to the infected tissue. After the nerves, tissues, and debris have been removed, the area is sealed. Dr. Leibowitz places a dental crown on the tooth after it has been cleaned and sealed, restoring the appearance and usefulness of the now infection-free tooth.
“Would it be better to just extract the tooth?”
Not in most cases. Generally the more of your healthy tooth remains, the less likely you are to require an extraction. As with teeth that have fallen out, the gap left by the extracted tooth presents a new set of challenges for your oral health, as well as the health of your jaw and its temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. An advantage of root canal treatment over extraction is that it is less traumatic and does not allow as much bacteria into the bloodstream while the extraction site heals.
Don’t fear the root canal treatment. To learn more about root canals and tooth extraction in Astoria, NY, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, contact us at (728) 738-8320. We welcome patients living in Astoria, NYC, upstate New York, New Jersey, and the surrounding areas.