Additionally, as is so often the case in prosthodontics, there are medical issues as well. These teeth collect bacteria faster than living teeth. The end result may be something like osteonecrosis of the jaw. Dead, infected teeth sometimes kill the jawbone as well. That causes bone fragments to protrude into the mouth and resemble broken teeth. An infected dead tooth may cause other problems as well, such as a tooth abscess.
Technically, a dead tooth needs no treatment. Eventually, it will fall out by itself. But a lot of very serious conditions, including ONJ, can set in before that happens.
How to Spot a Dead Tooth
Only a dental professional can tell the difference between a dead tooth and one that’s mostly dead. However, there are two things to look for. If both are present, you probably need dead tooth treatment.
- Pain: Discomfort can range between barely noticeable and excruciatingly painful. Some people wonder how the tooth can hurt if the nerve is dead. Technically, this pain comes from the sensitive periodontal membranes that surround the tooth.
- Discoloration: When red blood cells die under a person’s shoulder or other body parts, the skin bruises. Similarly, when red blood cells die under a person’s tooth, that tooth may turn grey, black, or yellow.
Many people assume that once the pain goes away or the discoloration does not get worse, they do not need dead tooth treatment. But that’s simply not true. In fact, after the symptoms dissipate, serious conditions may be just around the corner.
Dead Tooth Treatment Options
Dr. Stone cannot raise the dead. But he can address dead tooth dangers and restore healthy balance to your mouth. Typically, dead tooth treatment involves either a root canal or tooth extraction. These things can be unpleasant, but they are not nearly as bad as they were twenty years ago. Dental technology, and treatment methods, have advanced by leaps and bounds since then.
Generally, root canals can be effective for mostly dead teeth. Dr. Stone might then use a crown to fully restore the tooth. If the tooth is all dead, extraction and replacement with a dental implant is usually a good idea. Dead tooth treatment prevents serious mouth illnesses and keeps your smile intact. To see how much Dr. John Stone can improve your oral health as well as your appearance, contact Best Dental Associates for your initial appointment.