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Dr. Michael W. Stuart

Dr. Craig E. Stannebein

2700 Grand Avenue, Suite D. Billings, MT 59102

Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday by Appointment Only

(406) 794-3114

Do You Need Root Canal Or A Tooth Removed?

  • March 5, 2016

The pain in you mouth hasn’t gone away like you hoped. In fact, the pain has continued to grow.

While it’s always there, at times it seems to flair up, like when you are drinking your morning coffee. You realize now that you should have called the dentist sooner.

If you had, then you could have had the problem treated without the pain you’ve endured for … how long has it been? You can’t remember, but you do know that you want the pain to go away.

One of your friends insists that you just need a root canal while your co-worker is sure that you will need you tooth pulled.

The best way to find out and the best way to get treated is to visit a dentist you can trust, like Dr. Stuart at Legacy Smiles in Billings, MT.

The Importance Of Routine Exams

One of the reasons we encourage patients to visit our office routinely is to avoid the kind of situations described above.

As dental professionals, we may notice signs of a problem before it becomes apparent to you. In addition to our years of training and experience, we have equipment that allows us to examine your teeth much closer than you can when you look in the mirror.

For example, we may notice:

  • Infections in the digital X-rays of your teeth
  • Pimples that form on your gums
  • Individual teeth that are discolored when compared to your other teeth
  • An area where the nerve of your tooth may be exposed

Depending when you see us, we may be able to recommend treatment that will save you from some of the other symptoms of a root canal infection. Those symptoms may include:

  • Toothaches
  • Increased tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets
  • Swelling of gum tissue near the toothache

If you are experiencing any of the problems listed above, please call us right away.

Why You May Need A Root Canal Treatment

Root canal problems often arise as a result of poor dental hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss on a daily basis, you may be creating an opportunity for bacteria to grow and build plaque.

If left untreated, the plaque can harden into tartar, which is more difficult to remove. This can also lead to tooth decay or gum disease. As your infection spreads, it can eat into your tooth.

Initially, you may not feel any pain, but as the bacteria eat their way into the center of your tooth, that will change. The center of your tooth and your root canals contain soft pulp, blood vessels, and nerves.

If the pulp becomes infected or inflamed this can damage your nerves. This is when your pain will be hard to ignore.

Should your find yourself in this situation, our first step is to diagnose the severity of your problem. We would rather preserve the healthy parts of your tooth than remove the entire thing.

If we determine that a root canal is the best option, that’s what we will recommend.

Root Canal Procedure

During a root canal treatment, we have to access the inside of your infected tooth. To do this, we will likely use our Waterlase, which is a laser that passes through water. This tool allows us to cut into your tooth without causing you any pain.

Once we can reach the infected pulp, we will remove it along with the nerves and the blood vessels inside your tooth.

At this point, we will clean and sanitize the inside of the tooth. Then, we will fill the tooth with a special material to help prevent a new infection. To complete the procedure, we will seal your tooth with an overlay or a dental crown.

When You May Need A Tooth Pulled

Tooth extraction is sometimes necessary, but it is generally it is considered a last resort.

We would advise this only if your tooth has been so decayed, damaged, or weakened that a root canal would provide little or no benefit.

In those cases, we also would recommend replacing your extracted tooth. A dental implant with a dental crown would be an excellent option although a dental bridge can also work well.

Don’t Live With The Pain

Your teeth should not cause you pain. If they hurt, then you have a problem. If they hurt, you should contact the dentist at Legacy Smiles in Billing, MT, right away.

Call (406) 794-3114 or fill out our online form to make an appointment so we can end your suffering.


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