January 7, 2018
If you’ve been experiencing chronic tooth pain, you might wonder if a root canal is the best solution. Ideally, root canals are great for cleaning the canal or tooth roots and removing bacteria that cause infection. Doing this prevents the infection from spreading and becoming lethal later. However, sometimes a tooth can be so far gone that a root canal won’t be able to save it.
According to your dentist in Weymouth, there are alternatives worth considering if a root canal doesn’t work out. We’ll discuss your options so you can get back your regular self.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental operation used to save teeth by removing bacteria inside its root canal. The canal itself is the part of pulp lying in the root of the tooth. These are most often recommended when an infection lies deep inside the tooth, usually caused by an injury or severe cavity.
First, the dentist will administer a local anesthesia that numbs the tooth and a dental dam to keep it clean and dry. Then, the dentist will create an opening in the top of the tooth so they can access the inside. They’ll use specific dental tools to clear diseased pulp, shape the inner chamber of the tooth and root, and irrigate the chamber to wash away remaining pulp. After cleaning, they’ll fill it with gutta percha, a rubber-like material, followed by a temporary filling. Finally, they’ll place a permanent crown on top to protect the area.
Why a Root Canal May Not Be the Best Treatment
If your tooth is no longer viable, a root canal might not be the best treatment. If your cavity is very deep or an injury was too severe, you risk allowing bacteria from your mouth to enter your pulp. This can cause swelling, infection, and eventually the death of your pulp’s vital tissue.
Your dentist will offer you the most professional judgement when it comes to getting a root canal or not. The last thing they want is for you to be susceptible to further damage or disease, which will only cost you more in the long-term. Luckily, there’s another option outside of a root canal.
What’s the Alternative?
Extractions are ideal for teeth that are severely fractured due to an accident or a large cavity caused by tooth decay. If your tooth is too damaged to repair, a crown won’t be able to remain stable on top of your tooth. If a crack in your tooth extends below the gumline, it’s considered a prime candidate for removal according to the American Association of Endodontists.
During extraction, the dentist will first numb the area and use an elevator to loosen your tooth while it’s still in the socket. Then, your dentist will use forceps to extract the tooth, which will cause some pressure, but no more discomfort than you’d expect. After the area has fully healed, you can discuss implant options with your dentist to replace the tooth.
Getting an infection is not worth it just to save a severely damaged tooth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Weymouth today to discuss your options!
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Kerr earned his BS degree from Stonehill College in North Easton and his DMD degree from Tufts University of Dental Medicine. After restoring implants for ten years, Dr. Kerr is fully capable of replacing teeth lost due to of injury or tooth decay. To learn more about these treatments, contact him at (781) 337-6644 or visit his website.
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