Root Canal Therapy


The teeth are pretty amazing. They are the strongest substance in the human body. In fact, they are even stronger than your bones. Even though they are so strong, they are still susceptible to physical damage and decay. When these issues arise, the teeth are at risk for developing a serious infection. At Platte Valley Dental Care, we can treat tooth infections with a root canal.

How Infections Develop

The outer layer of your teeth, the enamel layer, is extremely strong. Just under the enamel is the dentin. This layer is strong, but not as strong as the enamel. This layer contains hollow canals that lead to the roots. Below the dentin is a chamber that houses the soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves. If the enamel becomes damaged, and that damage extends into the inner layers of the teeth, bacteria can enter inside. Once there, they take up residence inside the canals and multiply. They also begin attacking the pulp, causing irritation and inflammation, which can then lead to significant pain. Untreated, the infection only grows worse and can lead to serious health complications.

How Do I Know I Have an Infection?

A toothache is the most common indication that something is wrong. There are several other symptoms that can also point toward an infection.
•  Swelling. The jaw and face may swell near the infected tooth.
•  Pain and sensitivity that lingers even after the irritant is gone. These sensations are often an indication of a dying nerve.
•  A bad taste in your mouth that does not go away, even with brushing and mouthwash.
•  Losing bone mass in your jaw.
•  A dental abscess. Abscesses form when bacteria spill out of the root. The abscess is a sac that develops to contain bacteria. Without treatment, it only continues to grow in size, and can eventually rupture. If this happens, bacteria can enter into the bloodstream and cause several significant health complications.

How Is an Infection Diagnosed?

Diagnosing a tooth infection requires a thorough oral exam. We start by looking over your teeth and your gums, checking for tooth damage, swelling, and other signs of infection. The exam also includes digital x-rays. These images allow us to see the structures below your gumline. We can see root damage, bone loss, and abscesses. With an accurate diagnosis, we can then create a treatment plan to provide you with the best results possible.

Treating an Infected Tooth With a Root Canal

A root canal begins with a small access hole drilled into the top of the infected tooth. We then use small tools to remove the infected pulp and the nerve. After the pulp is removed, the canals are shaped and cleaned. The entire interior of the tooth is disinfected. Next, a special material called gutta percha is placed inside the empty space to seal up the canals. Finally, a dental crown is placed on the top of the tooth. The crown functions to restore strength and prevent future complications. With an effective root canal treatment, your tooth can function normally, and you avoid the need for a tooth extraction. If you have developed an infection in your tooth, it is important that you get treatment right away. Call Platte Valley Dental Care at (816) 219-3133 to schedule your appointment today.

Office Hours
Monday: 9 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM to 6 PM
Thursday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Friday: 8 AM to 2 PM
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