When a dentist tells a patient they'll probably need a root canal treatment, a common answer is: "What are some alternatives to the root canal? "Many patients are anxious and apprehensive about having a root canal, so the question arises whether it is the most efficient way to treat a dying tooth.
Let's look at why patients can need a root canal treatment, what are some alternatives and how successful each is.
What is root canal treatment?
A root canal has the function of reducing pain and protecting an infected and dying tooth. Inside a tooth the living tissue is called pulp and keeps the tooth healthy and alive. If the pulp gets inflamed or infected, it may need to be removed to save the tooth. And that can be because of:
- Tooth decay which causes pulp infection or inflammation
- Several oral treatments on the same tooth.
- Gum disease
Alternative root canal
The simplest alternative to a root canal is simply to cut the tooth. Many dental practitioners are going to tell you that preserving the tooth wherever possible is still best practice.
- Extraction is a more painful operation which often leaves you without a tooth and may result in the effects of tooth loss. Including tossing drift and shifting other teeth.
- Another option is called capping pulp. A sealant is used here to close the pulp inlet. It isn't always effective, so you may always need the root canal treatment eventually. It just might delay the inevitable.
- A bridge denture When you want to remove the tooth and substitute it with a dental bridge, that will be Your dentist can clarify the pros and cons of using this alternative for a root canal.
- A dental implant may offer an alternative similar to that. Depending on whether the nerves have not yet been infected and the severity of the infection or inflammation, only your dentist can guide you to the right choice for you. Dental implants can replace teeth, but note that an implant is a replacement for a tooth that is not a tooth, so there are some things to consider as well. Also it is more expensive than treating a root canal.
Why do patients worry a diagnosis of the root canal?
It is important to note that it is not the root canal treatment that causes the discomfort. The treatment itself is not painful. The culprit is the virus! The root canal would help relieve the pain, as it removes all the nerves.