Root Canal Therapy vs. Tooth Extraction: Saving Your Smile
At Astoria Dental Group, we offer comprehensive dentistry to people throughout Queens to treat all sorts of problems that affect a person's smile. For serious tooth pain and discomfort, root canal therapy may be ideal. Then again, tooth extraction may be best depending on the situation.
We'd like to take a moment to consider the issue of root canal infections and what we can do to alleviate pain and improve the health of your smile.
About Root Canal Infections
It's probably best to start with a discussion of root canal infections and what they involve.
Inside of every tooth is a small bundle of dental pulp. This dental pulp is essential for the initial formation of a tooth and is comprised of blood vessels, nerve endings, and connective tissue. Once a tooth is fully formed, the dental pulp is technically no longer necessary.
When a tooth is serious decayed or suffers serious trauma, it's possible for bacteria to access this pulp chamber. When this happens, the dental pulp can become inflamed, resulting in a root canal infection. These can be extremely painful and require professional treatment to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth.
Can My Tooth Be Saved?
If the root canal infection is caught soon enough, it is possible to save a tooth that has been infected. This treatment is known as a root canal (endodontic therapy) and involves the removal of the diseased dental pulp.
How Root Canal Therapy Works
During root canal therapy, a dentist carefully removes all of the diseased dental pulp from inside of an infected tooth. The pulp chamber within the tooth is then carefully sterilized in order to ensure no bacteria remains inside. The tooth is then filled with an inert material to maintain proper structure. The treated tooth is then capped with a dental crown in order to ensure a person's ability to bite and chew with limited worry or discomfort.
The Results of Root Canal Therapy
Thanks to root canal therapy, a person with an infected tooth can bite, chew, and smile just as they normally did. The crown can potentially be made from a tooth-colored ceramic material that blends in seamlessly with the patient's existing teeth.
Why Tooth Extraction May Be Necessary
If an infected tooth is too far gone to be treated, it's necessary for that tooth to be extracted. Tooth extraction will prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth, such as adjacent teeth, the gum tissue, and the jawbone. It's important that dentists act quickly to prevent a dental abscess and other serious health and wellness issues.
Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
After a tooth has been extracted, there are many options for replacing it. A dental bridge can be used to fill the gap left behind, for instance. This replacement tooth fills the gap by bracing around teeth adjacent to the tooth gap. In addition, it's possible to have a dental implant placed to support a single dental crown. The ideal option for you can be discussed during the consultation process.
Is One Treatment Preferable to Another?
Ideally, it's always best to preserve as much of a person's natural tooth structure as possible. That's why a root canal is generally preferable to tooth extraction. That said, a root canal is not always a viable option for care. During a consultation at our practice, we can discuss the right treatment option for you and your needs.
Contact Astoria Dental Group
For more information on how to treat infected teeth and improve your dental health and general wellness in the process, be sure to contact Astoria Dental Group today. Our team is here to discuss your treatment options and provide optimal dental care that enhances your smile.