Toothache: When is it time to visit the dentist?
A toothache is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Any time you have tooth pain, you should schedule an appointment for a checkup with your dentist. Sometimes, a toothache might mean that you have a small cavity. In other instances, a toothache can mean that you have a severe infection inside your tooth. Prolonging a visit to your dentist when you have noticeable symptoms can lead to the need for costly and invasive treatments like endodontic (root canal) therapy, the placement of extensive restorations like dental crowns, and tooth extractions.
How is tooth decay treated?
Tooth decay is a common oral health condition that affects up to 99% of the population. When it comes to treating tooth decay, the severity of the cavity and whether it has affected the innermost parts of tooth anatomy is a factor. Small areas of decay can be addressed with same-day restorations like fillings. More advanced stages of tooth decay might require larger, custom restorations such as onlays and dental crowns. If the inside of a tooth has become infected as a result of decay, a patient may need endodontic therapy to prevent the spread of disease.
Determining the appropriate course of action depends on the results of a physical examination, which will include images taken from X-rays.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a part of a tooth’s anatomy. Comprised of a hollow chamber that holds a tooth’s nerve endings and pulp, the root canal can become infected when a cavity is left untreated or when a tooth is cracked or fractured. Root canal therapy involves removing infected material inside a tooth, flushing it of debris, and sealing it to protect tooth structure from future damage.
Why should a tooth be extracted?
A diseased tooth that cannot be saved will need to be extracted to preserve the health of neighboring tissue. This is because infected teeth can develop abscesses. Many times, dentists refer patients to oral surgeons for tooth extractions.
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