(BPT) - A stabbing toothache is a special kind of pain. It keeps you awake, inspires dread for your next meal and makes it darn near impossible to think about anything else. The mouth is a sensitive area, and those pain receptors are on high alert when it comes to infection and other maladies.
If you’re thinking you’d prefer to seek a root canal over a tooth extraction, you’re in good company. Four out of five Americans feel it’s better to go the root canal route than to get a tooth pulled.
It’s important to understand that it is far better to save your natural tooth whenever possible. Making an appointment with an endodontist, a highly skilled dental specialist, can be your best solution.
“If you’re suffering with a toothache that wakes you up out of a sound sleep at night, or because you’re eating hot or cold food, you need an endodontist,” says Dr. Alan H. Gluskin, president of American Association of Endodontists. “You should not delay treatment.”
Over eight in 10 adults in the U.S. (83%) say they have undergone some type of dental procedure (e.g. cavity filling, wisdom teeth removal, root canal, etc.).
Knowledge is Power
According to the AAE, no one is better at saving your natural teeth than an endodontist. Endodontists can diagnose and treat tooth pain, and perform a root canal treatment, if needed. These root canal specialists receive two to three years of training beyond dental school, and they have a high level of precision and hand-eye coordination to complete these complex treatments. They also use specialized technology to treat tooth pain and perform root canal treatments.
Finally, endodontists are taking precautions to keep patients safe during COVID-19. Don’t let the pandemic delay the treatment you need.
When intense tooth pain rears up, do what you can to preserve your natural tooth by following these tips.
Act quickly: In the face of excruciating tooth pain, don’t put off making an appointment with a dentist or an endodontist. As Gluskin said, if it’s waking you up at night, or it’s triggered by mealtimes or by the heat or cold, it’s time to get help. An untreated infection can lead to more pain and in the worst-case scenario, it can lead to sepsis.
Choose the root canal: When your dentist offers the choice between tooth extraction and a root canal, always choose the root canal. As painful as that tooth feels in the moment, getting treatment will be well worth it in the long run. A bridge, a set of dentures, an implant will never look and feel like a natural tooth.
Explore your options: So your dentist recommends tooth extraction. Now what? Be sure and ask about root canal treatment. If your dentist says that’s not an option, ask why. From there, you can ask your dentist to refer you to an endodontist. Most endodontists will see patients on an emergency basis — weekends included.
When tooth pain flares up, get treatment and relief quickly. Find an endodontist working in your area by visiting FindMyEndodontist.com, and learn more about the benefits of root canal treatment at aae.org/patients.