When you experience extreme pain and sensitivity with a tooth and cannot stand the pain any longer, you should visit a dentist. The symptoms you have indicate you have an infection in the roots of your tooth, but a dentist can confirm this by examining the tooth and taking x-rays of the tooth.
Treating an infection in the roots of a tooth involves getting a root canal procedure. This option saves your tooth; however, you could choose to have a dentist extract the tooth and replace it with an artificial tooth. Here are several things to consider if you are trying to make this decision.
The Importance of Saving a Tooth
When a tooth needs a root canal, this means that an infection made its way into the roots of the tooth. The only way to save the tooth is to go inside the roots and clean out the canals. This is what a root canal is, but it requires removing a good portion of the tooth for the dentist to access the roots.
While this process is not the most exciting thing to go through, it saves the tooth from extraction. Without getting this done, your dentist would have to remove the tooth.
You should carefully consider these options because every tooth you have is important. There is no type of artificial tooth that is as good as your real tooth. A real tooth is securely in place and works exactly how a tooth should work. Artificial teeth are great options when you have a missing tooth, but they are never equivalent to a real tooth.
Because of this, dentists typically recommend doing everything they can to save a real tooth, and performing a root canal procedure is the only method available when the tooth has infected roots.
Extracting the Tooth Results in Needing to Replace It
If you decide not to go through with a root canal procedure, the dentist will extract the tooth from your mouth. When this occurs, you will inherit a gap between two of your teeth or in the back part of your mouth. Gaps in the mouth present several problems:
Teeth shift out of place - When you have a gap, your teeth will move to fill the gap.
You lose bone mass - The bone below your tooth stimulates and regrows from chewing on the tooth that is there. When you remove the tooth, the bone mass starts to wear away almost instantly.
It looks bad - A lot of people feel that having a missing tooth looks bad. They feel self-conscious and embarrassed, and this affects their self-esteem.
To prevent having a gap, your dentist will recommend replacing the missing tooth with an artificial tooth. One option for this is a dental bridge. This option places an artificial tooth in the gap by attaching it to the surrounding teeth.
The other option is a dental implant, which requires inserting an implant into the jawbone. This then holds the artificial tooth in place, but it requires having enough mass in the jawbone.
There are pros and cons to both options; however, neither option is as good as having a real tooth. If you want the benefits of a real tooth, you will need to go through with getting a root canal completed on the tooth.
A root canal may seem like a painful, difficult procedure, but dentists that specialize in root canals offer root canal procedures that are as fast and pain-free as possible. Contact Steckbeck Family Dentistry if you currently have a toothache and would like to learn about the treatment options available.