Treating Infected Teeth With Root Canal Therapy

Our teeth can develop an infection due to injury or possibly untreated cavities, but unless treated, this infection could soon lead to a missing tooth. In order to return the tooth to full function and health, your Des Moines, IA, dentist may recommend a root canal procedure. Learn more about this safe and comfortable procedure in today’s blog.

The Dangers of an Infected Tooth

Our teeth are comprised of multiple layers. The outermost is a protective layer of enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. Beneath, the dentin makes up most of the tooth structure. At the center of the tooth and in the root canals is the pulp, a collection of nerve tissues that keep the tooth alive and functional. A cavity forms when bacteria reaches the dentin. Over time, the decay will spread until bacteria make contact with the pulp, at which point a tooth may become infected or abscessed. Unless treated, patients can experience severe aches and sensitivity, pain when eating, swelling near the tooth, or even a discharge from the tooth itself. Lack of treatment could eventually cause a lost tooth and a gap in your smile!

The Root Canal Procedure

A root canal allows our team to stop the discomfort and prevent the loss of your tooth and the spread of infection. We administer a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort and then we open the tooth. After removing the infected tissue, we add a restorative filling material. We then cure the material and cap the tooth with a dental crown. The restoration protects the tooth from further injury or complications. For some, the procedure can be completed in a single visit.

Lifelike Repair

The crown we cap the tooth with will be created from strong and lifelike materials, such as ceramic, which can be shaded to match the color of your tooth. No one will be able to tell your tooth has been treated and restored. We can also discuss tips for preventing further decay and infection, such as brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing before going to bed at night. You should also cut back on sugary foods and drinks, and make time to see us every six months for a checkup and cleaning, so we can monitor your smile and watch for warning signs of trouble. If you have any questions about this treatment option, or if you begin to experience pain in one or more of your teeth, then contact our team today.


We can help treat damaged or decayed teeth, often in as little as one visit. For more information on our restorative treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.