When a tooth is damaged and/or painful, we may feel like we just want our dentist to pull it out. Get rid of it! But most of the time, this is the wrong choice. While the time it takes to pull out the tooth is only a minute or two, replacing the tooth and having the gums heal can take many weeks and several visits to the dentist office. A good dentist will recommend doing everything he or she can to save the natural tooth. Why? Because nothing that man makes is as durable and effective as a real tooth.
People with a fake tooth implanted often suffer some level of discomfort or even mild pain when they chew, so they avoid certain foods and these are often healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that are essential to your diet. Yet if you do not replace the tooth and leave the space empty, infection and gum disease can result. Not to mention the shifting of the teeth around the empty space. Last but not least, replacing a tooth with a dental implant can cost more than repairing the bad tooth.
Many teeth can be saved by performing a root canal. A skilled, qualified endodontist—a dentist who specializes in root canals—can repair the natural tooth to a level where it is able to perform as good as new. Now before you start cringing—root canals have come a long way. They aren’t near as painful as many people believe them to be. They are considered one of the most feared dental procedures based on surveys, but this is often because of hearsay—people are basing their opinion on what they’ve heard and not on their own experience. Today, new technologies have made it faster and less painful to have a root canal done, and more advancements are happening all the time. Please see our other article on advancements in root canal technology.
When your tooth develops a problem and you experience pain, it could be from a break or crack in your tooth, a dying nerve, or an infected pulp. Having a root canal can repair the tooth and eliminate the pain that was previously experienced. One should always consider a root canal over an extraction and you should not hesitate to ask your dentist some questions. If they recommend extraction, ask them why a root canal is not an option. It is okay for you to ask them to refer you to an endodontist who performs several root canals every day (as opposed to a regular dentist who may only perform one or two root canals per week). Remember—endodontists will have the latest and best equipment to perform the procedure with minimal or no pain to the patient.
Endodontists treat conditions of the tissue inside our teeth. Removing diseased or damaged tissue and filling in the pulp area will not only save the tooth but keep you comfortable for years to come. Saving your natural teeth allows you to chew normally and eat the foods that you like and the foods that you need. By utilizing endodontics, our office provides an alternative to extraction. We always welcome your questions and your inquiries. When it comes to your teeth, knowing your options can make a big difference for your health and your wallet.
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