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You’re enjoying a nice meal with a friend when you feel a sudden pain in your tooth. It hurts, but you decide to ignore the mystery feeling and move on. That’s when the pain returns out of nowhere. Despite your desire to forgive and forget, it’s time to call our Washington, MI, dentist.
Tooth pain is not something you should ignore. If left untreated, a moderately sensitive tooth with a small cavity can transform into one with deep decay. Dr. Lesinski will do everything he can to save your teeth but it is up to you to take action as well.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Sensitivity and pain in your teeth can all seem the same when it’s happening. It can be difficult to tell based on a sudden sensation whether you need one procedure or another. To make things even more complicated, sometimes there is no pain at all.
Because a root canal procedure is often needed for deep infection or damage involving the tooth’s pulp, the pain that arises before treatment tends to be more intense. Pulp is the soft inner tissue of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. When your tooth is injured or has decay, the pulp can become exposed and at risk for issues.
Several signs that indicate root canal therapy may be in your future include:
- Severe tooth pain when chewing or applying any pressure to the area
- Noticeable sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures during exposure and long after the source (i.e., food or beverage) is gone
- Tooth discoloration
- Gum swelling and tenderness
- A pimple-like swelling on the gums
Cavities, on the other hand, can result in varying degrees of discomfort and ultimately depend on the size and location. You may not notice a small enough cavity but once it has time to progress, it can show itself in more ways than one.
A few symptoms or signs of a cavity in need of a filling can include:
- Lingering tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets
- An ongoing toothache that can occur at random times or after eating
- Brown, black, or white stains on the surface of a tooth
- A visible hole or pit in your tooth
The symptoms of both conditions can overlap which is why Dr. Lesinski recommends swift examination and treatment. In fact, an untreated cavity can end up turning into a need for root canal therapy. If you’re experiencing any of the signs and symptoms listed above, please give us a call and we’ll determine the best course of action.
Oral Evaluation and Next Steps
Depending on the state of your tooth, we may also take some X-rays to see how far down the problem goes or how much it has spread. X-rays are a great way to painlessly uncover hidden issues that otherwise may not appear to the naked eye.
Once the underlying cause of your dental pain is found, we can move forward with appropriate forms of treatment such as root canal therapy or a filling.
What to Expect for Both Forms of Treatment
If it turns out that you require only a tooth-colored filling, Dr. Lesinski will start by numbing the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic. He’ll then drill into the tooth and remove any decay present before cleaning and drying the area.
Next, he will etch and bond the tooth to further prepare it for the incoming filling. He’ll then layer the composite material into the hole in your tooth and harden it with a special light. Some shaping, contouring, and polishing will be done before your bite is checked and you’re sent on your way.
For the root canal procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered by Dr. Lesinski to ensure you feel no pain. A rubber dam is then placed around the tooth in need to keep the area dry and free of saliva. Next, we’ll make a small access hole on the tooth’s surface to allow for the removal of any diseased or dead pulp tissue.
The inside of the root canal will also be cleaned, shaped, and decontaminated using tools and irrigation solutions. A rubber-like material and an adhesive cement are used to seal up the canals.
Dr. Lesinski will let you know if your tooth requires a same-day dental crown for added protection. The placement is not always necessary but can be due to the fragility of a tooth without pulp.
See Our Dentist to Relieve Tooth Pain
Are you experiencing dental discomfort and aren’t sure which procedure is right for you? Our emergency dentist in Washington, MI, can thoroughly examine the affected area and prescribe appropriate treatment depending on the severity of the issue. Call Washington Family Dental today at (586) 752-4545 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
This blog post has been updated.