Root canals are dental procedures that help you repair your tooth without removing it. They are ideal for severely damaged teeth where the pulp inside your tooth has an infection or inflammation. The damage can happen through deep cavities, cracking or breaking of teeth, and a history of multiple dental procedures.
The dentist removes the pulp inside the tooth to deal with the inflammation. It also treats and gets rid of the infection. After removal, the dentist cleans the inside of the tooth, including the root canals. The cleaning effectively removes any remaining bacteria and disinfects the tooth.
The next step involves filling it and placing a crown to restore the tooth. The root canal procedure is very effective in saving damaged teeth. However, patients find it unpleasant and may want to opt for alternatives.
The truth is that the procedure is nowhere more uncomfortable than other dental procedures. Nevertheless, here are some alternative treatments. These may save you from having a root canal.
The treatment is ideal for teeth with severe decay that exposes the pulp. It involves placing materials like mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and calcium hydroxide over the exposed pulp. However, using this method may not prevent having a root canal in the future.
The material creates a mineral barrier that protects the exposed pulp. It also promotes tissue repair. The doctor will finally fill your tooth after direct pulp capping. The procedure is only appropriate where the pulp is still healthy. It should not show signs of infection and inflammation. The exposure should also be minimal. Otherwise, you will need a root canal or extraction.
The procedure is similar to direct pulp capping. The dentist performs it where pulp exposure is due to damage or decay. However, it contrasts with root canals because the dentist preserves the nerves and pulp inside your tooth.
The dentist removes any pulp that shows signs of inflammation. Afterward, they place calcium hydroxide, formocresol, or MTA inside the tooth. These materials prevent the growth of bacteria and promote tooth healing. After filling it, they put a crown that protects your tooth from damage and restores its function.
Removing your tooth may save you from getting a root canal, but you need a replacement. Although it is not usually an option, it may be the best choice for severely damaged teeth. Some teeth may have severe decay that root canals may not help. However, remember to plan for a replacement after extraction. Otherwise, it may lead to a lack of functionality and more complications.
Root canals may be your best option for saving your damaged teeth. Direct pulp capping, pulpotomy, and extractions as alternatives may appeal to you. But note that the first two are temporary measures—they will still lead to a root canal. The third will require tooth replacement.
The best way to save your teeth from root canals is to have proper oral health. Brush your teeth and floss, and drink lots of water from the tap because it contains fluoride. Fluoride is good for your teeth since it makes them healthy and strong. Also, schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings. These will save your teeth from root canals.
For more information on root canals or to book a visit, call Concierge Smile Boutique at (424) 404-6400 to for our office in Culver City, California.