Posts for tag: Tooth Pain
Let's say you have a diseased tooth you think might be on its last leg. It might be possible to save it, perhaps with a significant investment of time and money. On the other hand, you could have it replaced with a life-like dental implant.
That seems like a no-brainer, especially since implants are as close as we have to natural teeth. But you might want to take a second look at salvaging your tooth—as wonderful as implants are, they can't beat the real thing.
Our teeth, gums and jaws form an intricate oral system: Each part supports the others for optimum function and health. Rescuing a troubled tooth could be the best way to preserve that function, and replacing it, even with a dental implant, a less satisfying option.
How we save it will depend on what's threatening it, like advanced tooth decay. Caused by bacterial acid that creates a cavity in enamel and underlying dentin, decay can quickly spread into the tooth's pulp and root canals, and eventually threaten the supporting bone.
We may be able to stop decay and save the tooth with a root canal treatment. During this procedure, we remove diseased tissue from the pulp and root canals through a drilled access hole, and then fill the empty spaces. We then seal the access and later crown the tooth to protect it against future infection.
A second common threat is periodontal (gum) disease. Bacteria in dental plaque infect the outer gums and, like tooth decay, the infection quickly spreads deeper into the root and bone. The disease weakens gum attachments to affected teeth, hastening their demise.
To treat gum disease, we manually remove built-up plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). This deprives the infecting bacteria of their primary food source and “starves” the infection. Depending on the disease's advancement, this might take several cleaning sessions and possible gum surgery to access deep pockets of infection around the root.
Because both of these treatment modalities can be quite in-depth, we'll need to assess the survivability of the tooth. The tooth could be too far gone and not worth the effort and expense to save it. If there is a reasonable chance, though, a rescue attempt for your troubled tooth might be the right option.
If you would like more information on whether to save or replace a tooth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”
Find out how root canal treatment could actually prevent a tooth extraction.
While there are certainly a lot of unfortunate jokes at the expense of root canal therapy, it’s important to understand the benefits of this simple endodontic treatment and what it can actually do to improve your smile for the long term. After all, our Gaithersburg, MD, dentist Dr. Steven Rattner could end up saving your teeth with a root canal. “How?” you might be wondering. Here’s how:
If you are dealing with a dental infection, deep decay or trauma (e.g. fracture; crack) that has caused inflammation or an infection within the dental pulp (a structure that lies inside the tooth) the only option is to get root canal treatment in order to remove the pulp and to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Some people may think that it’s easier to just have the tooth removed rather than undergoing root canal therapy but this is not the case. Removing a permanent tooth means jawbone loss, negative changes to your overall facial structure and also the need to replace the missing tooth with an artificial tooth so that the rest of your smile doesn’t shift into the open gaps and cause misalignments. It’s much easier and more cost-effective to undergo this simple endodontic procedure and try to save the tooth rather than having it removed.
In order to preserve the tooth, our Gaithersburg, MD, general dentist will numb the gums around the tooth with local anesthesia. Once the area is numb we remove the dental pulp and clean out any bacteria that is present. From there we will seal up the root canals and the inside of the tooth. In most cases, a dental crown will need to be placed over the top to protect the natural structure while also restoring full chewing force back into your smile.
If you are dealing with a toothache, or if you are dealing with other warning signs of an infection, decay or injury then it’s time to call Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD right away. Let us know what’s going on and we will get you in for an appointment.