Cuspid teeth, also called canines, are the pointed teeth to the rear of the incisors. The cuspids tear apart the food and pass it back to the molars for grinding. A severe infection in a cuspid tooth can cause pain whenever you chew and can threaten the life of the tooth.
Treating an infected cuspid is a bit trickier than treating an average tooth because of the cuspid's extremely long roots. The roots form part of the root-canal system, through which the infection travels through the tooth.
There are a couple of specific ways that a general or family dentist can treat a severely infected cuspid tooth.
Root-Canal Procedure and Dental Crown
The infection travels from the roots to the upper pulp chamber at the top of the tooth through the root-canal system. The infection lives in the pulp material, which contains important nerve, tissue, and blood cells that need to travel through the tooth to keep it thriving and alive. Infected pulp will instead start to damage the interior of the tooth so the dentist will want to remove that pulp as soon as possible.
The infected pulp is removed through a process called a root-canal procedure or simply a root canal. The dentist will drill a small access hole near the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canal. A thin, straight dental tool is slid through the hole and used to scrape out all of the pulp inside the canal.
After all of the pulp is gone, the root-canal walls can still retain some infectious material, so the dentist will rinse the canal with an antibiotic wash. The tooth will still have the access hole, which could also provide access for bacteria to the interior of the tooth, so the dentist will finish the treatment process by capping the tooth closed with a dental crown.
Apicoectomy or Root Trimming
Cuspid teeth have unusually long roots, and if the infection gets caught in those roots, the infection can recur after a root-canal procedure. Your dentist will need to perform an apicoectomy or root-trimming procedure to remove the infected pulp in the roots.
An apicoectomy is a surgical process that involves cutting into the soft tissue and underlying jawbone to access the ends of the roots. The dentist will snip off the very tips of the roots, which contain the infection, and the remaining roots will form the new ends or apexes.
Visit a site such as http://www.nwidentist.com/ so you can find a dentist and get started with treatment.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!