How Does A Root Canal Save Infected Teeth?

root canal treatment

When a tooth becomes infected, you not only suffer from serious discomfort, but run the risk of losing the tooth altogether, leading to more severe complications. However, with a root canal treatment, your Des Moines, IA, dentist has an opportunity to treat the issue and save your tooth from loss due to infection or abscess.

Infection and Tooth Loss

The pulp, a collection of living tissues sitting at the center of the tooth, keep your tooth healthy and functional, overseeing the flow of blood and nutrients to and from the teeth. However, when harmful bacteria come into contact with the pulp, the tooth could become infected or abscessed, leading to severe discomfort. An untreated cavity, which has the opportunity to grow more severe and reach the pulp, could be the culprit, as could damage that chips or cracks the tooth to expose the inner pulp. Unless treated, the infection could eventually cause the pulp to die, effectively killing the tooth and leading to tooth loss, as well as the spread of infection to surrounding teeth.

The Root Canal Process

When you notice your tooth hurts, experiences pain when you bite down or chew, or has swelling, this could be a sign of dental infection. Other warning signs include persistent aches, sensitivity, or a discharge from the tooth. When you see us, we will examine your smile and see if you have an issue that needs treatment. For people with infected teeth, we will use a root canal to address the problem comfortably and safely. We start by administering a local anesthetic and then opening the tooth. We remove the infected tissues from within and clean the interior of the tooth. Next, we add a restorative filing material before capping the tooth with a strong and lifelike dental crown. You avoid the extraction or tooth loss, and keep a complete smile!

A Preventive Approach to Oral Health

Often, good oral health habits each day could prevent the onset of tooth decay or an infection. For example, try to control plaque buildup by brushing and flossing daily to remove stray food particles, and cut back on sugary foods and drinks, which leave behind particles of bacteria to consume. Seeing us every six months means we can clean your teeth and remove plaque buildup, further protecting your smile. If you have any questions about treating smiles with quality restorative care, then contact our team today.


Our team wants to tackle serious restorative concerns with quality treatment that offers lifelike results. To learn more about treating dental infections, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.