When the soft core of a person’s tooth starts to decay, it often cannot repair itself. Cracked teeth and deep cavities are both common causes of damaged pulps, but the solution is not always so simple. Without attention, the American Dental Association suggests that dead pulps can cause infection and lead to “pus pockets,” or abscesses in the jaw. These abscesses can then damage the bone and result in a much bigger issue, often ending in removal of the tooth. To prevent this outcome, a dentist will usually perform a root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp.
According to the ADA, after the pulp is removed, the pulp chamber and root canal are cleaned and sealed. The treatment may take up to three separate visits to be fully completed. At the end of the process, the patient typically gets a gold or porcelain crown over the tooth. The good news is that root canal treatments can permanently save a tooth from extraction if the patient takes proper care of her teeth and gums. If all goes well, surrounding tissues will continue to nourish the treated tooth’s roots and keep it healthy. It is important to communicate any concerns about abscessed teeth to a dentist on your True Care Advantage discount dental plan – he or she will be able to give you a definitive diagnosis and suggest possible treatments. The sooner any potential problems are identified, the less complicated and costly it will be to solve them.