If you have ever experienced severe pain with an infected tooth you might mistakenly believe it will just disappear after being prescribed some antibiotics. It works so well for other infections for example a sinus infection can be resolved with antibiotics.Tooth pain is different and the result of an infection in the pulp or nerves of the tooth and antibiotics can help.
Unfortunately with dental problems antibiotics are much less effective, while they can ease symptoms antibiotics cannot cure the infection. A painful tooth is caused by bacteria inside the tooth and has to be dealt with to have a permanent cure.
These infections are usually the result of a dental procedure (a filling, or crown ) a cavity or trauma. Patients may experience some discomfort from the tooth or the issue may be discovered during a regular dental checkup. In the absence of a healthy tooth structure to protect it bacteria can find their way into the pulp, nerves and blood vessels of the tooth. When the tissue is dead or damaged bacteria already present in our mouths find these tissues and use them as a food source. The pulpal and root canal space provide the perfect breeding ground for infection. It’s warm with an ample food supply and protected from your immune system by the tooth structure itself. In some instances left undetected the infection can spread to the tissues surrounding the tooth and occasionally to other parts of the body. If that happens it puts a strain on the immune system and could even be life threatening.
When antibiotics are prescribed by your dentist it’s mainly to prevent the infection from spreading. This is the reason they are used and while not a cure they are part of the treatment plan, the only cure is to resolve the underlying cause. Antibiotics can lessen the pain but can’t penetrate the abscess and bacteria may still be present and the infection can return. Once the nerves become infected a root canal is the only way to remove the infected nerve and save the tooth.
When this happens your dentist will refer you to an Endodontist – a root canal specialist. An Endodontist is a skilled and knowledgeable professional with specific training dedicated to saving your tooth. With the latest techniques and technology they provide patients with a smooth and painless root canal treatment.
Kitsilano Endodontics is located in Vancouver BC contact our office to schedule an appointment, we’re happy to answer any concerns about your root canal treatment.