If you've been told you need a root canal, there are usually a couple of different scenarios for why it's been recommended. One reason can be trauma. Sometimes, we'll see a patient who has had no symptoms in their mouth for years, and all of a sudden, a tooth starts aching, sometimes on a tooth that doesn't even have a filling.
Oftentimes, we find it's a front tooth, and someone has been hit in the mouth years ago. It has just taken time for that nerve and tooth to slowly die, and unfortunately, abscess. That's one reason we see the need for root canals in teeth sometimes.
Another reason is if there's decay that reaches into the nerve of the tooth. That's what this cheesy cardboard cutout shows us. In this scenario, this tooth had decay that went all the way into the pink part of the tooth, as shown in the illustration. What's depicted on this yellow part of the tooth is that once the decay touches the nerve in any capacity, the nerve in that tooth is going to die, and eventually, it's going to abscess. This can happen right away, which is called an acute abscess, or sometimes it's a delayed response called a chronic abscess.
So, to answer this question, teeth that have dead nerves in them sometimes don't hurt, and that's a chronic abscess. If you come in with a toothache, it's called an acute abscess. Regardless of what it's called, if it hurts, it's something that we know how to take care of for you. If you have more questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact our office.
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About Vernon Dental Centre
The Vernon Dental Centre in Vernon, B.C., is a family-oriented dental practice for all ages. Using advanced techniques and cutting-edge technology, our dedicated team offers cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dentistry in a friendly and caring environment.
Family Dentist Dr. Anthony Berdan’s focus is on excellence and comfort to provide you and your family with the care you deserve. We offer all aspects of general dentistry, from general dental needs to cosmetic restorations and smile whitening. Dr. Berdan welcomes your entire family; from children to the elderly. Here at the Vernon Dental Centre, we are dedicated to treating everyone the way that we would want to be treated.