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Going through the archives I found a lot of messages from people who said they had toothaches and other problems with their teeth but didn't want to visit a dentist. I just want to remind everyone that February is National Dental Health Month. If you have a toothache, you should see a dentist immediately. Even if you're not covered by insurance, a good dental office will work out a payment plan that you can afford with you. For those that are scared to go to the dentist or embarassed by the quality of their teeth, sedation dentistry is becoming very prominent and the dentists that offer it are said to be especially compassionate. Just do a search on the Web for "sedation dentistry" or call 1-800-DENTIST.

Only a dentist can relieve a toothache - by the time you're feeling pain, it most likely means the nerve has been exposed, usually the result of a large cavity that has reached the pulp, or a crack in the tooth. A lot of people are scared of the notion of getting a root canal, but contrary to popular belief, it is NOT painful. A good dentist will ensure that you receive enough Novocain not to feel any discomfort during the procedure.

Better yet, everyone should see a dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and exam. He or she will find and fill small cavities before they progress into painful problems, will check the condition of your existing dental work (very important as fillings don't last forever...they can become loose or fall out, leaving the exposed tooth structure susceptible to more decay), your gums, screen you for oral cancer, and let you know if your home care routine is doing its job. A dentist will work on-going with you to ensure you have stress free and clean checkups...a clean, healthy mouth full of strong, cavity free teeth!

No, I'm not a dentist - I just like to take good care of my teeth and want everyone's mouth to be pain and problem-free. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss EVERY day, take it easy on the sweets and soda, and see a dentist twice a year!


The only problem with GoRetro's post here is that 1-800-Dentist is a paid service. Dentists pay them for referrals and if you call that service you don't get referred to the best person, but whoever pays the 800dentist people a hefty fee to be on their referral source. A much better source would be a rating and review of dentists in your local area. The more rating the better and find someone who's reviews seems like someone who's up with your priorities. 
I do agree, however, that if you have pain you should not wait to get care. Things only get worse with time with teeth because teeth can't repair themselves unlike bones and problem only get worse, never better. 
Anyway.. if you have pain and you haven't take care of your teeth for a while you may need a root canal. Early on decay can only be replaced with a filling but if you wait then it's root canal city! At least, if you end up needing a root canal make sure you see a root canal specialist. The specialist is called an endodontist. All these nightmare stores about root canals are because people see their general dentist for a root canal. It's like seeing your General Medical Practitioner for your heart surgery. You wouldn't do that if you were smart. 
More importantly, take care of your teeth on a timely basis and they'll take care of you! Oh, and don't forget to floss!