What happens if a dead tooth is not removed?


14 July 2023

What happens if a dead tooth is not removed?

In the realm of dental health, a "dead" tooth is a term that carries significant implications. A dead tooth, also known as a non-vital tooth, is a tooth in which the pulp — the innermost part of the tooth that contains its nerves and blood supply — has been damaged or destroyed. This can happen due to various reasons, including deep decay, a severe physical blow, or advanced gum disease.

When a tooth is dead, it often loses its natural color, resulting in a darker or discolored appearance compared to the surrounding teeth. It may also lead to discomfort or pain, but in some cases, it may present no symptoms at all. Without timely and appropriate treatment, a dead tooth can lead to serious complications, such as dental abscesses, infections that can spread to other parts of the body or loss of the tooth.

Understanding the signs and implications of a dead tooth, as well as the available treatment options, is critical in managing this dental health situation. At All Smiles Dental SPA in East Meadow, we're committed to educating our patients about all aspects of their oral health, including the issue of dead teeth. Our expert team provides comprehensive evaluations and personalized treatment plans to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. Whether it's through root canal therapy, extraction, or replacement with a dental implant, we're here to help you maintain your smile's health and appearance.


What are the risks of leaving dead teeth untreated?

A "dead" tooth refers to a tooth in which the nerve and blood supply (the pulp) have been damaged or destroyed, often due to trauma or decay. If left untreated, a dead tooth can lead to several complications:

  • Infection: The most significant risk is the development of an abscess, which is an infection at the root of the tooth. An abscess can cause severe pain, swelling, and sensitivity. If not treated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and may lead to serious health complications.
  • Discoloration: A dead tooth often turns dark or discolored because of internal staining from the breakdown of the pulp tissue.
  • Loss of Tooth: Over time, a dead tooth can become brittle and break more easily, which may result in the tooth needing to be extracted.
  • Damage to Surrounding Teeth and Jawbone: If an infection is left untreated, it can eventually lead to the loss of surrounding teeth and damage to the jawbone.

To prevent these issues, a dead tooth usually requires treatment. This might involve root canal therapy, where the dentist cleans out the dead pulp, disinfects the tooth, and seals it, often followed by a dental crown for strength. Alternatively, the dentist may recommend extracting the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant or bridge.

As with any dental issue, the best course of action is to consult with your dental professional. At All Smiles Dental SPA in East Meadow, we offer comprehensive consultations and treatments to manage a wide range of dental health situations.


How can I avoid dead tooth removal?

Various dental procedures can be performed to prevent a tooth from dying and requiring removal. Here are a few common ones:

  1. Fillings: If a tooth has a cavity, a dentist can remove the decayed part and fill the tooth with a durable material to prevent further damage. This prevents the decay from reaching the tooth's pulp and causing an infection that could lead to a dead tooth.
  2. Root Canal Treatment: If decay or damage has reached the tooth's pulp, a root canal can often save the tooth. The dentist removes the infected or damaged pulp, cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, and then fills and seals the space. Most teeth that have had a root canal will need a crown for protection.
  3. Crowns: If a tooth is cracked or weakened, a crown can be used to protect the tooth from further damage. Crowns are custom-made to fit over the entire tooth, strengthening the tooth and preventing damage to the pulp.
  4. Periodontal Treatment: If gum disease is causing or contributing to problems with a tooth, various periodontal treatments can help. These range from non-surgical procedures like scaling and root planing to surgical treatments like flap surgery or bone and tissue grafts.
  5. Night Guards: For patients who grind or clench their teeth (a condition known as bruxism), a custom-made night guard can help protect the teeth from damage.
  6. Regular Professional Cleanings: Professional cleanings at the dentist’s office help keep your gums healthy, remove plaque and tartar, and can catch early signs of problems before they become serious.

At All Smiles Dental SPA in East Meadow, we're dedicated to providing our patients with comprehensive dental care. Our skilled team can guide you through these procedures and help you decide on the best course of action to maintain your oral health.

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