If you have ever had toothache then you will know it can be extremely painful as it is a signal that something is wrong with your tooth. Initially, it is worth just gently flossing around the tooth just in case you have a piece of impacted food trapped in between your teeth. This can be enough to slightly dislodge the tooth, pushing it out of position and causing pain. If the toothache persists, it is a good idea to book an appointment to come and see our Southampton dentist. It could be that your tooth is badly infected and it will require urgent treatment to save it.
How We Diagnose a Badly Infected Tooth
When you come to see us we can carefully assess your tooth to diagnose the problem. A tooth that is infected may be surrounded by gum tissue that looks slightly red or swollen and toothache could be persistent or just present when you try to bite or chew on the tooth. The affected tooth may also look as if it has become discoloured or will be darker than you remember. We may test your tooth’s reaction to cold and will probably wish to take a dental x-ray so we can see the extent of the infection. An x-ray is also extremely useful for planning treatment which is highly likely to be root canal therapy.
You Needn’t Fear Root Canal Therapy
Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatment should feel no worse than having a filling and it’s likely to come as a huge relief if your tooth is pretty painful. Once treatment is completed your tooth should feel considerably more comfortable as it settles down.
What Will Happen during Root Canal Treatment?
The idea of root canal treatment is to remove all the infected tissue right from the centre of your tooth in an area called the pulp. This contains all the nerves and blood vessels to a tooth, but an adult tooth can function perfectly well without it. Our dentist in Southampton will thoroughly clean out the pulp and the root canals which extend from the pulp into the tooth roots. The number of root canals can vary according to the size of the tooth as for example a small front tooth will have just one root canal whereas a larger back tooth could have three.
Once all the infected tissue is removed, the area is thoroughly disinfected. At this stage we may place antibiotics into the empty pulp chamber to help clear up any remaining infection, particularly if the infection was pretty severe. The tooth can then be sealed and will need to be restored at a later date once we are sure the infection is fully cleared up. This normally means placing a crown over the tooth to protect it.
Root canal treatment is often very successful and can extend the life of a tooth by many years. Without root canal treatment we wouldn’t have any other option but to extract the tooth which is always something we try to avoid. One thing to bear in mind is that root canal treatment tends to be more successful the earlier we can catch the infection so if you do have toothache then we urge you to come and see us here at Smilemakers so we can diagnose and treat the problem. You can call us on 02380 442626 or request a call back through our website at www.smilemakers.co.uk