Tooth Loss and Root Canal Infection By Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky on March 10, 2021

infected tooth and root illustrationDr. Nathaniel Podilsky has more than 38 years of experience as a dentist. For decades, he’s helped the people of Edmonton, AB, achieve healthier smiles. This typically means preventing tooth loss, but there are cases where an extraction may be necessary. For example, it may not be possible to perform root canal therapy on infected teeth. Sometimes extraction is preferable.

Let’s consider the nature of root canal infections. We’ll note how root canal infections lead to tooth loss, why tooth extraction may be preferable to root canal therapy, and ways that dentists can replace a missing tooth caused by root canal infection.

What Is a Root Canal Infection?

A root canal infection occurs when oral bacteria reaches the inner chamber of a tooth. Within that chamber is a substance known as dental pulp. Infection of the dental pulp can cause the infection to spread.

If left untreated, a root canal infection can lead to bone loss in the jaw, tooth loss, and even sepsis, which could be potentially fatal.

Signs and Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection

The most common signs and symptoms of a root canal infection include:

  • Toothaches - A sore or painful tooth is a common sign of many root canal infections. The pain does not have to be from biting or chewing.
  • Change in Tooth Color - Infected teeth may turn yellow or brown, darkening as the infection spreads.
  • Dental Abscess - A small pimple-like bump may appear along the gums by the infected tooth.
  • Chronic Bad Breath - The bacteria that caused the infection may produce a foul odor. The smell may also be caused by pus from the abscess.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, schedule a consultation at our Edmonton dental practice. Early detection and treatment can save the tooth and prevent further discomfort.

When Does an Infected Tooth Require Extraction?

Dentists work diligently to save a tooth from extraction whenever possible. However, it is not always possible to save an infected tooth from extraction.

An infected tooth may need to be extracted if the diseased pulp cannot be removed, or if the bone loss in the jaw has left the tooth too loose and wobbly. It’s a matter of assessing the harm caused by the infection and considering what options help the patient have a healthy smile.

Replacing the Extracted Tooth

If you do lose a tooth due to a root canal infection, there are different options for tooth replacement. You may receive a dental bridge, which helps fill the gap left behind by the missing tooth. It’s also possible to have a dental implant placed to support a custom dental crown.

During the consultation process, we will discuss your options for treatment and help you decide which one is right for your dental health needs.

Avoiding Tooth Loss from a Root Canal Infection

The ideal way to prevent tooth loss or the need for a tooth extraction is to undergo root canal therapy. This procedure involves removal of the infected dental pulp. This treats the infection, preventing its spread. The pulp chamber is sterilized and filled with an inert material, and then capped to restore normal biting and chewing function.

Schedule a Consultation

If you would like to learn more about treating and preventing root canal infections, we encourage you to schedule a consultation online or call our office in Edmonton at (780) 428-6846.

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Dr. Podilsky

Dr. Podilsky Is Dedicated to Personalized Care

Dr. Podilsky is qualified to care for your smile:

  • Over 40 years of experience
  • Membership with the Canadian Dental Association
  • Dedicated to ongoing training 
  • Membership with the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us today at (780) 428-6846.

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