The only alternative there is to a root canal is tooth extraction, but tooth extraction will leave you without a tooth and with additional problems. While you are still free to choose to have the tooth extracted, making the decision to get a root canal to save the tooth is almost always the better choice. Here are several things you should understand about both of these options.
Why A Root Canal Is The Better Option
A root canal involves removing infected tooth pulp from the roots of the tooth. When these areas of a tooth become infected, the only way to truly eliminate the infection is by removing the pulp. After this is done, the dentist will fill the canals with gutta-percha, which is a rubber-like material. By doing this, those areas of that tooth can never become infected again.
This process is designed to save the infected tooth, and keeping a real tooth is always preferred over having an artificial replacement tooth. If you are able to keep the tooth, it will function exactly as it did prior to the procedure; however, the tooth will no longer sense hot and cold. This occurs because the canals that were infected hold nerves. When a root canal is completed, the nerves are no longer there, and these nerves are designed for sensing temperature.
Without performing a root canal on your infected tooth, there will be no way to save the tooth. A real tooth always looks and works better than an artificial tooth, and a real tooth can last your entire lifetime if you care for it properly.
The Additional Problems You Will Have If You Choose Extraction
While getting a root canal can be both very expensive and somewhat painful, the only alternative you have is to have the tooth removed from your mouth. There simply is no good alternative option when the roots of a tooth become infected. Getting a tooth removed will cost a lot less than having a root canal; however, once a tooth is extracted, you will never have a real tooth in that place again.
After the dentist removes the tooth, you will have two options:
- You can live without a tooth in this part of your mouth.
- You can choose to have the tooth replaced with an artificial option.
If you think about the first choice, which is to live without a tooth, you should fully understand how this would be and the effects it may have on your mouth. First of all, you might find it more difficult to eat, simply because you have one less tooth than you used to. You might also discover that it is harder to say certain sounds, because your tongue was used to pressing against this tooth. In addition, your gums will no longer be protected in this area, which means you might have a higher risk of developing gum problems. Finally, the teeth next to the gap may start shifting to try to fill the place where the tooth used to be.
The second option is to have the tooth replaced, and you could do this with a dental implant or bridge. Both of these options are good, but they can be expensive. If you add up the cost for one of these with the amount you spent on the extraction, you may discover that getting a root canal was probably more affordable. In addition, a bridge and an implant are artificial, and this means they may never work as well as your original tooth.
If you have an infection in a tooth, your dentist will probably suggest a root canal. This is the best choice you can make, and you can learn more about root canals by visiting a dentist today.