A dead tooth sounds like a big problem, and it can be, but if you want a dentist in Springfield, IL to find a solution, Dr. Shane Ruggless can help. A dead tooth does not necessarily mean a dental extraction; in fact, that is the last resort.
Teeth consist of three parts: enamel, dentin, and pulp. The pulp is composed of nerves and blood vessels. A dead tooth means it no longer receives the blood supply to keep it vital. This can result in two main symptoms:
Tooth discoloration – The lack of blood supply may cause the tooth to become gray or dark in color.
Pain and inflammation – Bacteria that reach the inside of the tooth can cause pain and inflammation – an active infection. Infection is risky to your oral health and your body.
Treating a Dead Tooth
A dead tooth usually requires removing diseased and damaged pulp to reduce the inflammation and eliminate pain. Root canal therapy accomplishes the task. Today’s root canals are more comfortable than ever and will give you the relief you need.
Since the tooth no longer receives blood, it becomes brittle and can crack easily. We prevent this by placing a crown over the root canal tooth to protect it, especially on molars, which absorb much of the force from chewing.
The only other option is to extract a dead tooth and replace it with a dental implant or bridge.
Preventing a Dead Tooth
Avoiding gum disease, decay and infection is one way to prevent the need for a root canal. Preventive dentistry is always preferable to emergency dentistry and gives you more treatment options.
Additionally, wearing an athletic mouthguard can prevent bumps and trauma that kill the nerve within the tooth. Many accidents happen with school-aged kids who don’t wear proper protection and end up with a stray hockey stick or rogue fly ball damaging their smiles.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency or have a discolored tooth you would like to address and need a dentist in Springfield, IL, give us a call! We always welcome new patients.