ADHD: A Parenting Guide

Root Canals And Alternative Treatments: What You Should Know

Dental treatments for dental pulp damage due to tooth decay and/or gum disease have become highly commonplace. Root canals in particular are ever-growing in popularity and have essentially become the standard treatment for rotted teeth. However, if you visit the dentist and find that you are suffering from catastrophic tooth damage due to various oral health diseases, you may wonder what other treatment options are available to you as well. Before you make your final decision, get to know the important information about root canals and other treatment options to handle a catastrophically damaged tooth. Then, you can choose the best option available to you. 

Root Canals

While you may have heard the term root canal many times before, you may not actually know what the procedure entails. A root canal is a procedure in which your dentist removes the infected pulp of your tooth and replaces it to maintain the structural integrity of your tooth. 

This is the standard way that dentists deal with an infection in the interior of your teeth (the flesh and nerves protected by the hard outer layer of your teeth. In this way, you do not need to have your tooth removed entirely. Thus, your mouth maintains its aesthetic appeal and you will not suffer any of the ill-effects of missing teeth, including bone loss and shifting in your other teeth. 

However, infection- and disease-causing microbes can become permanently embedded in the tooth due to a root canal. This can lead, in some cases, to chronic disease and infection that will continue to recur in spite of treatment. 

Dental Implants

If you would prefer to avoid a root canal procedure for whatever reason, you could opt to have the infected tooth removed entirely. However, you do not want to leave it at just that. If you leave a gap in your teeth, your jawbone could actually shrink and sustain further damage. Additionally, you other teeth will gradually shift to fill in the hole, wreaking havoc on the structure of your mouth. 

Thus, you will need to replace your extracted tooth. A dental implant is surgically inserted into your jawbone to mimic the structure and function of a real, intact tooth. These devices are long-lasting and durable. They are also easier to care for and maintain than other tooth replacement options such as partial dentures and dental bridges. 

Pulp Capping

If you have an infected tooth or infected gums, you may not always need a root canal procedure. Sometimes dentists recommend root canals for infections that have not yet reached your dental pulp, which may actually be unnecessary. 

When you go to the endodontist, ask them to verify that your dental pulp is infected. If it is not, you may be eligible for a pulp capping procedure. This is a means by which your endodontist can keep the infection from penetrating into the interior of your tooth. 

The endodontist essentially drills into the tooth pulp, cleans it, and coats it with a protective layer of medicine to prevent infection. Then a filling is applied to further protect the interior of your tooth.

As you can see there are several treatment options for your tooth infection. While root canals are the most common choice, you can consider alternative options should you so desire.