What Is a Dead Tooth?

Of all the tooth trouble you could be faced with, a dead tooth might sound the most dire by name, and certainly the creepiest. In this blog post, we’ll let you know how to spot a dead tooth, and help you understand why you might have one.

What’s a Dead Tooth?

When a tooth is healthy, the pulp and the nerves that reside within its hard, outer shell are healthy, and it’s considered alive. When that matter within the tooth is damaged, thanks to decay or injury, it is possible for blood flow to the tooth to halt, causing the tooth to die.

woman punching man in the jaw with boxing gloves causing a dead tooth

What Causes a Dead Tooth?

One possible cause is trauma. If you have an accident and your tooth gets hit with enough force, the tooth might end up dying. That death can occur quickly, or it might take months. Poor dental care is another common cause of tooth death. If you fail to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist for your biannual cleaning and exam, you’re putting your teeth at risk and a dead tooth can come as a result. Without proper oral hygiene, cavities are nearly inevitable. If left untreated, that decay targets and infects the tooth pulp, leading to that loss of blood flow and the eventual loss of the tooth’s vitality.

Spotting a Dead Tooth

The most apparent and outward sign of a dead tooth is discoloration. While healthy teeth should be a shade of white, if a little bit yellow, a dead tooth will stand out amongst the other teeth as discolored. Dead teeth can be yellow, brown, gray, or black, and that discoloration tends to deepen over time. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a dead tooth, you may feel pain, experience foul breath and/or a bad taste in your mouth, or see swelling around the affected tooth.

If you think you might have a dead tooth, it’s crucial that we tend to the tooth quickly so that the problem doesn’t spread. Make an appointment to come see us here at North Richland Hills Dentistry as soon as you can.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Pros and Cons of Implant-Supported Dentures

illustration question mark hands weighing options

If you’ve lost most or all of your teeth to decay or trauma, you are probably interested in getting dentures to replace them. Dentures have come a long way in recent years and, thanks to implant technology, you no longer have to worry about them fitting awkwardly or shifting around in your mouth. Stabilized dentures can be a great option for people who need dentures, but want to avoid the inconvenience typically associated with them. Here are some things to know about implant-supported dentures.

Advantages of Stabilized Dentures

The most appealing aspect of implant-supported dentures is that they are permanently fitted into your mouth. Small titanium posts are surgically anchored into your jaw, and the denture snaps into place over them, securing them in place. This prevents the fixture from shifting around in your mouth, and helps them feel both secure and comfortable. Since the implants fuse to your jawbone, they help to prevent the bone loss that is typically associated with lost teeth and offer the same support as your natural teeth do.

You’ll regain the look and feel of real teeth and never have to worry about the inconvenience of removing your dentures for cleaning and maintenance. For most people, all of these advantages are reason enough to choose stabilized dentures to restore their confidence in their smile.

Considerations Before Getting Implant-Supported Dentures

While there are many advantages to getting implant-supported dentures, they may not be for everybody and there are a few things you should consider before you decide if they are right for you.

Permanent, but Not Indestructible

Even though implants are considered a permanent restoration, they do experience natural wear and tear just like natural teeth. If you take good care of them, they will last many years, but crowns may wear out over time or even break and need to be replaced. This is no different than with natural teeth, but it’s good to remember that no dental fixture is completely indestructible.

Surgery & Healing Time

It’s important to consider the fact that dental implants require a minor surgical procedure and that there are several steps involved. You’ll need to allow your mouth time to heal in between procedures, and the whole process usually involves three or four appointments spread out over several months. You’ll complete the process with custom-fitted dentures that look and feel like real teeth, and most people feel that this commitment is well worth having a permanently restored smile.

Not Covered by Insurance

Even though this is normally considered a restorative procedure, your dental implants and dentures may not be covered by your dental insurance. It’s always a good idea to check your individual coverage to get an estimate of the out-of-pocket costs and to plan ahead for how you will finance your procedure. However, the permanence and durability of implant-supported dentures make them a worthwhile investment in your oral health and appearance.

North Richland Hills Dentistry offers restorative procedures including partial and full dentures and implant stabilization. We also offer flexible financing options through CareCredit and Compassionate Financing, both of which allow you to make low monthly payments on the entire cost of your procedure. If you’d like to learn more about stabilized dentures and whether or not they are right for you, contact us today to schedule a consultation.