Treating Deep Decay and Infections
A tooth consists of three layers: the enamel, dentin, and pulp. Decay or tooth damage that only reaches the two protective outer layers, the enamel and dentin, can be repaired with a filling or a crown. If, however, a cavity extends into the pulp, or soft center, of the tooth, food debris and bacteria can enter the pulp chamber and cause infection. A tooth fracture or other injury that exposes the pulp can also lead to infection. An infected tooth will not heal on its own. Therefore, if you do not seek treatment from your Astoria family dentist, the infection could spread, causing an abscess, jawbone damage, and tooth loss.
Removing the Infection
To treat your infected tooth, Dr. Leibowitz will perform a root canal procedure. The root canal is the very center of your tooth that houses the pulp. First, Dr. Leibowitz will make you comfortable by using a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Next, he will create an opening in the tooth from which he will remove all of the pulp tissue and any infection. This will alleviate pain and prevent further damage. Special dental tools and water or sodium hypochlorite are used to clean and disinfect the cleared canal.
Sealing and Protecting the Tooth
After removing the tooth pulp, Dr. Leibowitz will seal off the root canal with a material called gutta percha and top it off with a filling. If the tooth has been significantly weakened by decay, infection, and/or the actual root canal procedure, he may also place a crown to help strengthen it and prevent future breakage. A root canal treatment from Dr. Leibowitz will ensure that your teeth are restored to proper functioning in the gentlest, most efficient manner possible.