At Montz & Maher Dental Group in Friendswood, we treat many different dental issues. One of them occurs when a tooth’s nerve and pulp becomes infected, a dentist and patient must make a choice of whether to attempt to save the tooth or not.
Choice of Root Canal or Extraction
There are several factors that impact this decision. These include whether
- there is an infection in the surrounding bone,
- the amount and condition of the remaining tooth structure,
- the strength of the supporting bone, and
- the presence of periodontal disease.
During endodontic treatment, the nerve and pulp of the affected tooth are taken out. This tissue contains veins, arteries, and lymph vessels. We will clean out the canals, or roots. Once the roots are cleaned out and widened, they are filled with a special rubber material that seals them.
The root canal procedure is only the first step in the complete tooth restoration. After the root canal, without a crown, the tooth will probably become dry and brittle. The final steps are the core build-up and crown placement. A durable dental crown protects the remaining tooth, allows normal function, and prevents shifting of the surrounding teeth.
A root canal is often the most conservative treatment when a root is infected or a tooth has extreme decay or damage. Root canals have a very high success rate.
But there is always a slight possibility that a tooth with a root canal can have complications down the road. If there was a tiny crack in the treated tooth, it can become re-infected. A tooth with curved roots can be more difficult to fill and they can also become re-infected. Occasionally, the tip of a file can break off in a root during the procedure and cause problems.
Because of the small risk of failure, some individuals wonder if they should consider a dental implant instead of a root canal. This is not a black and white decision. Like root canals, dental implants have a high success rate. But there are risks with dental implants, as well.
If you have been told that a root canal or a dental implant is necessary, talk with your dentist about the pros and cons of each procedure. Please schedule a consultation at Montz and Maher Dental Group in Friendswood so you can make an informed decision about your dental treatment.
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