When a dentist tells a patient that they probably will need a root canal treatment, a common response is: “What are some root canal alternatives?” Many patients are apprehensive and anxious about having a root canal, so the question arises if it is the most efficient way to treat a dying tooth.
Let’s look at why patients might need a root canal treatment, what are some alternatives, and the effectiveness of each.
What Is A Root Canal Treatment?
The purpose of a root canal is to eliminate pain and save an infected and dying tooth. The living tissue inside a tooth is called pulp and it keeps the tooth healthy and alive. If the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it must be removed to save the tooth.
This can occur due to:
- A cracked, damaged or chipped tooth due to trauma
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay leading to infection or inflammation of the pulp
- Multiple dental treatments on the same tooth.
Known as endodontic therapy, the dentist removes the pulp, which contains the nerves and root canals in the tooth. Then the area is disinfected with antibacterial solutions and sealed. This is a painless treatment but must be performed by a dental professional, like those at Oakville Dental Place Office.
Root Canal Alternatives
The most obvious alternative to a root canal is simply extracting the tooth. Most dental professionals will tell you that it is always best practice to save the tooth whenever possible.
- Extraction is a more traumatic procedure it also leaves you without a tooth and the consequences of tooth loss can occur. Including drifting tipping and movement of other teeth
- Another alternative is known as pulp capping. Here, a sealant is used to close off the entrance to the pulp. This is not always successful, and you may eventually still be required to have the root canal treatment. It may just delay the inevitable.
- A bridge denture This would be if you elect to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental bridge . Your dentist will explain the pros and cons of choosing this dental replacement over a root canal.
- A dental implant can provide a similar alternative. Only your dentist can guide you to the right choice for you depending on whether the nerves have not yet been infected and the severity of the infection or inflammation. Dental implants can replace teeth but remember an implant is a replacement for a tooth it is not a tooth so it also has some things to consider. It is also more expensive than a root canal treatment.
Why Patients Fear A Root Canal Treatment
It is important to understand that it is not the root canal therapy that causes the pain. The treatment itself is not painful. The infection is the culprit! In fact, the root canal will eliminate the pain since it removes all the nerves.
If you are experiencing pain, it is important to visit your dentist to discover the source. If not treated promptly, an infected tooth can lead to more serious issues.
Contact the dental professionals at Oakville Place Dental Office.