Root Canal Therapy


A woman smiling after receiving root canal therapy at Keith A. Boenning, DDS in Towson, MDYour teeth see a significant amount of daily use. While they are the strongest substance in your body and can stand up to a lot of daily wear and tear, the teeth are not indestructible. Physical trauma and tooth decay not only compromise the structural integrity of an affected tooth but can cause a painful infection. Keith A. Boenning, DDS can provide treatment for tooth infections with root canal therapy.

The Development of an Infection


From the outside, your teeth look fairly simple. However, all you can see is the outermost layer or the enamel. The enamel is incredibly hard, the hardest substance in your body. Below the enamel is the dentin. This layer contains hollow channels that lead to the roots of your teeth. Below the dentin is a hollow chamber, which houses the soft tissue, or pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves.

While the enamel is incredibly strong, it is not indestructible. Decay and physical trauma can cause serious damage that can go beyond the enamel and into the inner layers of your teeth. This can allow bacteria into the inner layers of your teeth, where they can take up residence in the canals. Once inside the tooth, they multiply rapidly and begin to attack the pulp, leading to irritation, inflammation, and significant pain.

Signs of an Infection


A painful toothache is often one of the most obvious signs of a tooth infection. However, it is not the only one. Sometimes, it is possible to have an infection without experiencing a toothache. Other symptoms of a tooth infection include
•  Swelling in the jaw and in the face near the affected tooth.
•  Lingering pain and sensitivity, which often indicates a dying nerve.
•  A chronic bad taste that just will not go away.
•  Bone loss.
•  An abscess. An abscess is one of the most obvious signs of an infection. It occurs when bacteria begin to spill out through the root of your tooth and into the jawbone. An abscess is a barrier that forms in an attempt to contain the bacteria to prevent them from spreading. The longer the infection goes untreated, the larger it becomes, and can even rupture.

How is an Infection Diagnosed?


Diagnosing an infection requires a thorough oral examination. We begin by examining the visible structures of your mouth, looking over your teeth and your gums. We also take X-ray images of your mouth so that we can see any issues below the gum line including tooth damage, bone loss, and abscesses. If an infection is diagnosed, we formulate a customized treatment plan to eliminate the infection, preserve the tooth, and restore the health of your mouth.

Root Canal Therapy


Treating a tooth infection requires a root canal. This treatment is performed under a local anesthetic. We begin by drilling a small hole in the top of your tooth. This hole provides us with access into to tooth to provide treatment. Using small tools, we remove the infected pulp and the nerve of the tooth. The canals inside are shaped and cleaned, and the entire interior is disinfected. Next, we place material inside the empty space, which acts to seal the canals to protect them. Finally, a crown is placed over the tooth to provide additional protection while also restoring its strength.

Root canal therapy can effectively eliminate infection from the inside of a tooth, restoring the health of your tooth and preventing the need for an extraction. If you notice symptoms of an infection, call Keith A. Boenning, DDS at (410) 828-1717 to schedule your appointment right away.
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