Going to the dentist isn't any fun, but it is one of those things that just has to be done. For years, I fought the process and didn't go for my regular cleanings and in the end, it sure didn't pay to do so. I ended up spending ten times as much time in the chair and a boat-load of money in dental repairs. If you don't like going to the dentist, you can make it easier on yourself. This blog will show you a few tips that can help you improve the experience and get through the treatment without as much discomfort.
Although tooth enamel isn't a living structure, did you know that there are parts of the tooth which are alive? The dentin—or the bone-like celluar structure—covers the pulp, which contains the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels inside your teeth. However, trauma or decay can cause infections which can kill the pulp tissue for good. Take a look at some symptoms for dying teeth and how to fix them.
When does a tooth die, and what are the signs?
If you have an avulsed tooth from trauma, you should try to reinsert it if you can. Avulsed teeth can die within a minutes or hours depending on the person. If reinsertion isn't possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk or a cup of saliva (both liquids have pH levels ideal for the tooth root), and get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
While avulsed teeth die quickly, there is no solid timeline for teeth that die from decay or infection. Because this timeline is so variable, it's important to keep annual cleaning appointments and know the signs of dying teeth:
When a tooth has completely died, then you will have no sensitivity or pain since the nerve endings in the tooth won't be responsive.
How can you fix a tooth that has died?
Often, dead teeth are extracted and the infection is treated with antibiotics and frequent dentist visits. However, once your tooth is extracted, there are some downsides. It may be harder to chew or speak. Your surrounding teeth may have inclinations to move and become crooked; and, with no tooth root to stimulate bone tissue, you may experience the loss of jaw bone.
A root canal for a dead tooth is a great procedure because it will preserve the enamel structure and help you avoid the previously mentioned issues. At the beginning of root canal therapy, your dentist will take x-rays, open the pulp chamber, clean out the dead tissues/infections, and place a filling.
If too much of your enamel was lost, then your dentist may place a crown or encourage you to look into a dental implant. However, if only the underlying structures were destroyed, then your dead tooth can still be saved.
Talk with your dentist for more information about root canal therapy and how it can help your situation.