WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GET A PROBLEM TOOTH SEEN TO SO I DON’T LOSE IT?
The answer to that is simple – before it’s a problem.
The living connective tissue, cells and nerve in the centre of your teeth is called ‘pulp’. Pain in your tooth is called ‘pulpitis’, and there are two kinds – Reversible and Irreversible Pulpitis.
If, after thirty seconds of a cold test being performed, the pain in your tooth disappears, there is no spontaneous pain, your tooth doesn’t hurt when the dentist taps on it, and you don’t suffer from heat sensitivity on the tooth, then your pulpitis is reversible. The dentist will remove whatever is causing the pain and repair the tooth, sealing it with a filling.
If, after a cold test has been performed your tooth is still painful after thirty seconds, you suffer from spontaneous pain, it hurts when the dentist taps on the tooth, there’s a pain response to hot liquid or food, and there is obvious decay or crumbling of the tooth, your pulpitis is irreversible and either root canal treatment or an extraction is necessary.
Your tooth pulp can be damaged because of deep decay, trauma to the face, a crack or chip, large fillings and repeated dental procedures. Once it is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria takes over. Apart from making your face and neck swell, the dying pulp can result in an infection or even an abscessed tooth. The root’s tip will suffer bone loss and a hole in the side of the tooth appears, draining all that decay into your gums and skin, causing more problems.
Extraction leaves you with a gap in your teeth. Not the best fashion statement, but without doing a root canal treatment that’s the only option.
THE FINANCIAL COST OF IRREVERSIBLE PULPITIS
With that kind of intensive surgery in mind, it’s not surprising people automatically wince at the thought of seeing the dentist. But think about this, on average, a filling costs between $150 – $200. Root canal treatment or an extraction can cost over $1000! If you don’t get the filling when you need it, the next trip to the dentist means both your mouth and your wallet will be in pain.
7 WAYS TO TELL IF YOU NEED A FILLING
Regular check-up and good oral hygiene are essential. Here are seven ways to tell if you need a filling between annual check-ups:
- You’ve lost a filling and it needs to be replaced, or the existing one is cracked and broken.
- Your tooth is chipped, fractured or feels rough.
- Hot, cold, sweet, sticky or sour foods and drinks hurt, even biting down is an ordeal.
- Your tooth is painful all the time.
- Your tooth has a hole or a dark spot.
- Dental floss tears when you floss a certain tooth
- Food continually gets stuck in the same area in your teeth
Don’t wait until you need root canal treatment, or worse an extraction. Contact your local Team Dental today for an appointment and the healthiest smile ever.