Do you have a tooth that has darkened in color?
Do you have tooth pain that is increasingly sensitive to hot and/or cold?
It could be that, over time, an old dental filling has become loose and it is now exposing the nerve. It could be an infection in the tooth, or it could be that the tooth is dying for some reason. Whatever the exact cause, the most common treatment option is to remove the filling and do root canal therapy on the tooth. This can save the natural tooth, which is always preferred, if possible, over a tooth extraction.
Dr. Andrew Cobb, DDS, offers root canal therapy to Washington, DC area dental patients, and with the aid of sedation dentistry, patients who undergo the procedure feel minimal pain during treatment- many report that it is a similar experience to having a filling placed. Most patients will experience relief after the procedure because infected tissue has been removed.
What is a root canal?
Root canal treatment involves opening up the tooth, cleaning out the soft pulp and nerve tissue inside, and replacing it with stable biocompatible material. The tooth is then sealed and a crown is placed if necessary to restrengthen it. If there are signs of infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. After the soft tissue is removed, the tooth is technically dead but it is also essentially immune to further infection. Teeth can last many years after being saved from extraction by a root canal!
Saving the natural tooth and keeping it in place almost always helps to maintain good overall oral health and is preferred over a tooth extraction whenever possible. Removing a tooth will require extensive ( and sometimes expensive) restorative work to replace and restore normal function.
Root canal therapy for a dying or decaying tooth can save the natural tooth and offer years of comfort and natural function for patients!
If you are concerned that you may need a root canal, contact Dr. Cobb to schedule an exam- don’t lose a tooth by putting off root canal therapy!