Toothache & Root Canal Therapy

What is Root Canal Therapy (RCT)?

Root Canal Therapy (RCT) is a dental treatment, during which the compromised nerve of the tooth is removed from the tooth in order to address patients' toothache.

What are the most common causes of toothache?

The most common causes of toothache include, but are not limited to:

  1. Deep dental cavities that have penetrated deep into the tooth structure and the pulp chamber (location of the nerve of the tooth). Subsequently, the nerve of the tooth becomes infectied & inflamed. This inflammation results in pressure build up inside the tooth, which subsequently triggers pain (most likely needs root canal therapy).
  2. A cracked / fractured tooth is another reason why patients could experience toothache. When the tooth fracture is deep enough that the nerve of the tooth becomes exposed, toothache will result (most likely needs root canal therapy).
  3. Dental restorations (i.e. fillings, crowns, etc.) placed too close to the nerve can also result in toothache and/or tooth sensitivity by irritating the nerve of the tooth (may need root canal therapy, if the symptoms won't resolve over time).
  4. Clenching / grinding of teeth could also result in toothache and/or tooth sensitivity. The excessive pressure that is placed onto the tooth structure, when the individual clenches or grinds his/her teeth will eventually result in inflammation of the nerve inside the tooth. This inflammation could result in toothache and/or tooth sensitivity (most likely does NOT require root canal therapy. Toothache or tooth sensitivity caused by clenching / grinding can often be addressed by use of dental appliances such as Night Guard, which reduces the force on the teeth).

How can toothache be prevented?

Being proactive about your dental health is the best way to prevent toothache. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to keep a close eye on the health of your teeth and to recommend the proper dental treatment, in the early stages. For example, your dentist can detect cavities in early stages, when they are small and aren't too close to the nerve of the tooth. Treating dental cavities, when the nerve of the tooth hasn't become involved yet, reduces the potential for future toothache. On the other hand, individuals who delay regular dental visits, until they have a toothache, are at a greater risk of needing root canal therapy, because once the toothache starts, chances are that the nerve has been compromised and once the nerve is compromised, the treatment of choice would be to remove the nerve from the tooth via root canal therapy.

Is root canal therapy painful?

Root canals are not painful by nature. One of the main reasons why root canal therapy can be uncomfortable is that the patient has failed to see the dentist for treatment in a timely manner, during early stages of discomfort. Some patients hope that the toothache will eventually resolve by itself, which is rarely the case. By delaying treatment, the nerve of the tooth becomes more infected & inflamed. Rampant infection & inflammation of the nerve reduces the effectiveness of dental anesthesia. Subsequently, it becomes very difficult to numb the tooth effectively. It is at this point, when the patient can feel pain and discomfort during root canal therapy. This can be prevented, if patients present to the dentist, immediately after the initial signs of toothache are noticed. At this early stage, the infection and inflammation of the nerve isn't excessive, allowing the dentist to effectively numb the tooth and perform root canal therapy without any pain or discomfort.

If you are experiencing toothache, it's crucial to take action. Dr. Naman Zia Ebrahimi is here to guide you through the process. Following a thorough examination of your oral health, Dr. Ebrahimi will provide you with expert advice and recommend the most suitable treatment option tailored to your specific needs. 

Your journey towards improved oral health and well-being begins with a simple step – contacting us. Reach out to Naman Zia Ebrahimi, DMD today to schedule an appointment at our Fountain Valley Dental Office & thereby, reduce the potential for future toothache.

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