My tooth is infected and I’m in pain…What can I do?
When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, root canal treatment can save your tooth.
At Bruce Stevens Dental in Cairns we believe in the importance of educating our patients about keeping their natural teeth for life. Some of our patients who require tooth extraction could have visited us sooner and saved their teeth with root canal therapy. This is the very reason we remind our patients about the importance of general checks and preventive dentistry.
If you are suffering from a seriously infected tooth it is important to visit us as soon as possible to avoid having your tooth removed completely. The warning signs to look out for include dark colouring on your tooth, if your old fillings are starting to deteriorate, or if your teeth are becoming increasingly sensitive to hot and/or cold.
Root canal treatment deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders concerning dental pulp…
Before the advances in dental technology, if a tooth became infected it would have simply been removed. However, dentistry today means that Root Canal Treatment is the very best way to save your natural teeth for a healthier natural smile.
More about root canal therapy…
Root Canal Treatment is necessary when the nerve of a tooth, known as the pulp, becomes infected. If your tooth is left untreated and root canal is not performed then bacteria will destroy the pulp. Today however, every possible step is taken to save all your natural teeth. The Root canal treatment is a performed in either one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your infection, whereby the infected and inflamed pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth and is then cleaned and disinfected. Your tooth is then sealed with a protective material known gutta-percha, and may be restored with a crown or filling for ultimate protection. Your restoration will feel just like your natural tooth, allowing you to bite and talk as normal.
The signs to look for when Root Canal therapy may be required…
Those who may benefit from root canal therapy are those who are suffering from cavities, an infected tooth, or have a filling that has taken a turn for the worse.
Signs that your tooth may require and benefit from root canal therapy:
- A darkened tooth – This is an indication that your tooth is dying, as a result of the lack of oxygen to the tooth’s nerves.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold: Occurs when the nerves are exposed when they should be protected.
- Gum swelling near a specific tooth
- Pain when biting
If you notice any of the above symptoms or are concerned about your infected tooth, please contact us immediately. That call could be the difference between save your natural tooth or having it replaced with a prosthetic counterpart. During your consultation Dr Stevens can perform some easy tests to determine whether you need a root canal, such as putting something hot or cold next to the tooth or taking an x-ray of the tooth.
The importance of saving your natural teeth…
It’s important to save your natural teeth since tooth loss can have a dramatic influence on your oral and overall health:
- Natural teeth strengthen and protect the quality of the jawbone, and just a single tooth lost can cause deterioration of your jawbone material.
- Tooth replacement procedures can be lengthy and expensive.
- Existing teeth can migrate to fill the void and create a misaligned bite.
- A single lost tooth can cause your existing teeth to migrate from position- leading to aesthetic concerns and even a distorted bite.
- Single tooth loss can also put a strain on the surrounding jaw muscles and this can lead to uncomfortable headaches and migraines.
- Gum tissue can shrink.
How successful is root canal therapy?
By maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine and maintaining regular dental check-ups your root canal treated tooth can survive for the rest of your life. The sooner you commence root canal treatment the greater the successful outcome will be.
What happens if I don’t treat my infected tooth?
if treatment is not undertaken swiftly, this can cause severe pain, abscesses and even bone loss to the infected tooth area. Putting your tooth through this type of trauma often results in having to remove the tooth completely and replacing it with a crown or bridge. This alternatively can be much more costly in comparison to getting the treatment you need at an early stage and keeping your natural teeth.