Root Canal Therapy vs. Tooth Extractions: Which Is Preferable?
By Stephen Rogers on November 05, 2017
Inside of every tooth there is a small bundle of dental pulp. This dental pulp is comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that was essential for the initial formation of the tooth. Root canal infections occur when bacteria in the mouth is able to access this dental pulp. This often occurs as a result of serious tooth decay or dental injuries that result in chips or cracks to the teeth. Root canal infections can be very painful, and the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth if the problem isn't dealt with in a timely manner.
Here at Greater Long Island Dental, there are two common ways to deal with root canal infections: root canal therapy (endodontic treatment) and tooth extraction. Let's take a moment to compare these treatments, noting which kind of dental procedure tends to be preferable in terms of overall dental health.
How Root Canal Therapy Works
Also known as endodontic care, root canal therapy involves accessing the diseased dental pulp within the tooth. A dentist is able to remove the infected dental pulp. The inside of the tooth is then sterilized so it is free from bacteria. The tooth is filled with an inert material to ensure it can function properly, and capped with a crown to restore a patient's ability to bite and chew.
The Results of Root Canal Therapy
While the tooth is effectively "dead" since it lacks dental pulp, root canal therapy does save the tooth and prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth. Some pain and discomfort is common after undergoing root canal therapy, but after the recovery process, patients can bite and chew normally again without severe discomfort.
Tooth Extraction: When a Tooth Cannot Be Saved
When the root canal infection is so severe that the tooth cannot be treated through endodontic therapy, the ideal option for treatment is tooth extraction. Using advanced sedation and pain management techniques, patients will feel nothing as the dentist removes the diseased tooth. Extraction will relieve pain and also prevent the infection from spreading and causing an oral abscess or other serious health problems.
Replacing a Tooth After Extraction
Once a tooth has been extracted, your dentist can offer insight into various treatment options for missing teeth. One common solution is the use of a dental bridge, which helps fill the gap left by the extracted tooth. Another option to consider is an implant-supported dental crown, which is fixed in place with an artificial tooth root. The ideal option for you and your needs can be discussed during an in-person consultation.
Which Treatment Option Is Preferable?
Whenever possible, it's always best to save a tooth rather than remove it. Maintaining natural tooth structure should be one of the main goals in dental care. That's why root canal therapy is generally preferable to tooth extraction. Of course, sometimes tooth extraction is the only viable solution to consider.
Ultimately, patients should practice good oral hygiene and visit their dentist regularly in order to prevent the need for a root canal.
Contact Greater Long Island Dental
To learn more about treating infected teeth and helping you smile with renewed health and confidence, be sure to contact the team at Greater Long Island Dental. We will help you smile with renewed confidence and enhanced wellness.
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