When horrible throbbing pain from a toothache strikes, your first thought may be to have the tooth pulled from your jaw. If the pain continues for hours or days, all your thoughts may center around extraction. However, unless the tooth is absolutely ruined, saving your tooth with endodontics is the better choice.
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics has to do with the study and treatment of the pulp or nerve center of the tooth. The world endodontics comes from two Greek words: endo – meaning inside, and odont – meaning tooth. An endodontist is one who specializes in treating and studying the pulp area of teeth. In lay terms, endodontics means root canal therapy.
When a tooth becomes infected to the point where the pulp is involved and beginning to die, root canal therapy or endodontics can save the tooth. The pulp is completely removed from the tooth and the root canal is thoroughly cleaned out with special instruments. It is then sealed off to prevent bacteria from entering and the remainder of the disinfected cavity is filled with an appropriate filling material.
Why Endodontics Is a Good Choice
Even though the pain you experience may make saving the tooth seem counterintuitive, it’s really a good option. When a tooth is missing, that area in your mouth begins to change and over time it can have an effect on many teeth. The bone at the site of the extraction begins to resorb after a while. This means you will have bone loss in that area.
The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth may begin to move out of alignment. They may lean into the space or begin to twist. Either way, this can affect the alignment of your other teeth. The opposing tooth, particularly if it is on the top, may also come out of alignment since there is no longer a tooth to meet it.
These changes in alignment can cause food traps to form, creating spaces where plaque and tartar can build up. This in turn sets the stage for gum disease. Without proper professional cleaning to thoroughly clean out these spaces, you could wind up with pockets collecting food debris, gum infection and more bone loss, only now it would be around healthy teeth. Keeping your natural tooth can prevent these changes from taking place.
At Pearland Family Dentistry we take pride in assisting our patients reach and maintain their optimal oral health. If you have an infected tooth, don’t ignore it. endodontics may be an option. Get relief from the pain and let us help you get rid of the infection. Call us today and make an appointment to have your tooth examined and treated.