Thanks to advances in dentistry, it’s much easier to save teeth, even if they have suffered extensively from decay or injury. In the past, the only option dentists could take was extracting the tooth, forcing you to choose a dental bridge to fill the gap. Now, even tooth replacement offers alternatives to consider. In the event that your tooth is damaged, always consider a root canal first. If that’s not possible, an extraction and dental implant is a great path to take.
To learn how both of these treatments work, keep reading!
How Root Canals Save Damaged Teeth
When teeth are badly damaged and a filling or dental crown isn’t enough to save them, root canals are the last line of defense available. If a dentist tells you that you need a root canal, it shouldn’t be a reason to be disappointed. In fact, it’s a fantastic sign of hope because you have the chance to save your natural tooth!
The process for root canals is relatively simple. After performing X-rays to confirm the exact location of the infection or damage that’s present, the dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding tissue using a local anesthetic. This way, you won’t feel any discomfort during the root canal itself. After numbing, the dentist will create a hole in the top portion of the crown in order to access the inner tooth where the infection lies. Then, they’ll begin removing decayed tissue, shape the canal and irrigate it to remove any leftover damaged pulp. They may also apply a bacterial agent to reduce the risk of future infections.
Finally, a rubber-like material is placed inside the inner tooth in order to replace the tissue that was removed. After filling, the natural tooth is sealed with a dental crown that’s placed on top. You’ll wear a temporary crown until that permanent crown is made and placed at a later date.
Why Dental Implants are Ideal for Replacing Teeth
In the event that your tooth can’t be saved, you don’t have to settle for a dental bridge. Once the tooth is extracted, you can start discussing your options with the dentist on dental implants. The sooner you have an implant placed, the more effectively the implant will integrate with your existing bone tissue.
Implants are made from titanium, proving them to be extremely durable, long-lasting and biocompatible. An all-porcelain crown is placed on top of the implant via an abutment, allowing for reliable function and the most aesthetically pleasing replacement tooth possible. Once the implant has fully healed, you won’t even be able to tell the difference between the tooth you lost and your new implant. On average, implants last much longer than dental bridges when properly cared for, so you’ll definitely want to consider it should your tooth require an extraction.
Don’t give up hope on your smile just yet. If your tooth is damaged, schedule an appointment today; don’t put off treatment any longer!
About the Author
Dr. Frank A. Michitti earned his DDS degree from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. As part of his additional hours of continuing education, he learned how to perform advanced restorative procedures, including dental implant placement and root canals. To learn more about his practice or determine which treatment is best for your case, you can contact him through his website.