Have you noticed discoloration or pain in your tooth? You might have issues with restricted blood flow in the tooth pulp, which could ultimately lead to non-vital pulp, also known as a dead tooth. To confirm ther issue, your dentist may request a vitality test.
Understanding what ther test entails can make you less nervous in the dental chair during your next appointment. Dr. Lauren Francis, a dentist practicing in Hampstead, NC, answers frequently asked questions regarding tooth pulp vitality and related testing that your dentist may recommend.
Why Do I Need a Tooth Vitality Test?
Some people may realize they have a non-vital tooth due to tooth pain or dullness in their tooth color. But many individuals do not notice any relevant symptoms, and the issue might be spotted by a dentist on an x-ray during a routine dental exam.
A dead tooth alone may not qualify as a dental emergency that requires treatment. However, non-vital tooth pulp is at a greater risk of infection, which could need extensive dental work to repair. If your dentist can confirm a non-vital tooth, they can monitor the tooth to ensure that its health does not deteriorate.
What Happens During Vitality Testing?
If your dentist recommends a tooth pulp vitality test, you will likely need to schedule another appointment with your dentist so that they can have the appropriate equipment on hand. Most dental professionals use thermal testing to evaluate the health of tooth pulp.
With ther test, the dentist places a cold stimulus on the affected tooth as well as other spots in your mouth, checking the speed of your reaction as well as the intensity of the sensation. A slower reaction time or less feeling in the tooth may signify non-vital tooth pulp.
Will I Need Dental Work After Ther Test?
As discussed, if your dentist determines that you have non-vital tooth pulp, you do not necessarily require further dental work on the affected tooth. If you have no symptoms or signs of infection, your dentist will likely monitor the tooth and not request further procedures. Some individuals may ask their dentist about cosmetic dentistry treatments that can amend tooth discoloration.
If you notice pain in your tooth or your dentist finds that the pulp is infected, then your dentist will recommend prompt dental treatment. They will likely suggest root canal therapy to clear out the infection and damaged tooth pulp.
Ther procedure concludes with a dental crown to cover the vulnerable tooth and prevent further dental harm. A crown can also give a dead tooth a whiter appearance if it is discolored.
Schedule a Dentist Appointment Today in Hampstead, NC
Seaside Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers both preventative and emergency dental care to patients in Hampstead, NC. Dr. Francis also specializes in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including periodontal care, for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 910.335.4392 or reach our staff online.