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Dental Procedures for Rotten Teeth

by
author image Sylvie Tremblay, MSc
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.
Dental Procedures for Rotten Teeth
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Overview

The teeth consist of a very hard outer enamel layer, an inner calcified dentin layer that supports the tooth and an inner pulp layer, make up of cells and nerve tissue. The structure of the tooth can decay over time as a result of exposure to sugary and acidic food combined with bacteria in the mouth. Bacterial colonize on the tooth and form plaque, which breaks down the enamel and progressively invades the tooth. A number of procedures for rotten teeth used depending on the extent of the decay.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings can treat mild to moderate tooth decay. Bacteria colonizing on the enamel and eventually wear a hole through the enamel that can spread to the dentin layer, causing a dental cavity. If the cavity is found before the decay spreads beyond the dentin, the decay can be treated with a dental filling.

During a dental filling procedure, the dentist will numb the affected tooth with local anesthetic, and use a drill to cut around the site of decay to remove any affected enamel and dentin. The dentist will apply acid to the tooth to etch the tooth surface, and then add a filling, like amalgam or acrylic resin.

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Root Canal

A root canal treats rotting teeth with extensive decay. If a dental cavity progresses through the dentin and into the pulp, the nerves in the teeth become infected and root canal is needed to remove the affected tissue, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. During a root canal, the dentist will numb the affected tooth with anesthetic and use a drill to open the tooth and expose the infected pulp. The dentist will remove any visible pulp, and then use a file to remove any remaining cells and nerve tissue in the roots of the tooth. The dentist will then fill the tooth with filling material. After the root canal procedure, the patient may have a crown placed on the tooth to support and strengthen the structure of the tooth. A root canal treats rotting teeth with extensive decay. If a dental cavity progresses through the dentin and into the pulp, the nerves in the teeth become infected and root canal is needed to remove the affected tissue, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. During a root canal, the dentist will numb the affected tooth with anesthetic and use a drill to open the tooth and expose the infected pulp. The dentist will remove any visible pulp and then use a file to remove any remaining cells and nerve tissue in the roots of the tooth. The dentist will then fill the tooth with filling material. After the root canal procedure, the patient may have a crown placed on the tooth to support and strengthen the structure of the tooth.

Tooth Extraction

In cases of very severe tooth decay, tooth extraction may become necessary to treat the rotten tooth. Tooth extraction is used if the tooth cannot be saved with a filling or a root canal due, reports NYU Langone Medical Center. Tooth extraction may prove necessary if an infected root forms an abscess, a pocket of pus at the root can damage the jawbone.

During a tooth extraction procedure, the dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic. The site may need to be drained of pus and bacteria, depending on the severity of the infection. The dentist wiggles the tooth back and forth, removes it and then packs the extraction site with gauze. A tooth extraction may require antibiotic treatment, painkillers and post-extraction care.

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References

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