Is a Root Canal Treatment The Best Option?

Root CanalWhen you are dealing with a tooth with damaged nerves and pulp, a root canal is typically the first procedure your dentist recommends. It is not the only option though. You also have the option of having to remove the tooth. This will bring an end to any pain from the tooth as well as an infection.

How do you determine which is the best option? Simple. If the goal is saving the tooth and reducing your dental costs, in the long run, it is always a root canal.

While removing the tooth is a lot cheaper than a root canal treatment, it can lead to other dental issues. Missing a tooth can lead to your other teeth shifting towards the hole. Having a tooth removed also leads to the deterioration of your jaw bone.

The only time when removing a tooth is a better option than a root canal is if the infected tooth is one of your wisdom teeth. Since you do not really need these, having them removed instead will save you money without any negative consequences. If you have any of your other teeth removed, you will need to replace it with a dental implant to avoid negative ramifications. Getting an implant or similar prosthetic is a lot more expensive than a root canal. If cash is tight, your dentist can still perform the root canal and seal the tooth with filling without using a crown. That slashes the price by half.

How to determine if you need a root canal

There are a handful of symptoms that can help you determine if you need a root canal. These include:

  • Tender gums

  • Persistent toothaches

  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold substances

What to expect during a root canal

Root canal treatments are relatively straightforward procedures. The first thing your dentist will do once he/she determines that you need a root canal is to perform an X-ray to get a better view of the situation. Next, the dentist applies a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. This is not always necessary since the nerves in the infected tooth are likely already dead. Most dentists will apply anesthesia just to ensure you do not feel any pain during the procedure.

The dentist will then remove the pulp, nerves, and decayed debris from the tooth using a series of specialized files. Your dentist will also use water to flush out debris from time to time. The dentist will apply medicine to the tooth before sealing it and placing a crown on top to protect the tooth from further damage. Depending on your dentist's setup, that might require an additional visit.

If the infection is severe, your dentist might prescribe antibiotics for you to take before and after the procedure. Most dentists do not typically prescribe pain medication unless absolutely necessary.

Dealing with an infected tooth? Contact a dentist and schedule your root canal treatment.

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However, this has nothing to do with the root canal treatment itself, which relieves pain. Association is a very powerful memory maker, and so patients think of a root canal treatment in terms of the pain they were actually experiencing because of the infected pulp. During the course of the root canal treatment, we will be removing the infected pulp, cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth. We will make sure that we will remove any element causing pain. In a sense, the root canal treatment is the end of the road for the infection pain.

An Infected Tooth

When the outside of the tooth or gums becomes infected, there is always a chance of the infection spreading to the dental pulp. When the infection spreads to the pulp, the soft area inside the tooth, it starts to break down. As the pulp breaks down, the bacteria begins to rapidly to multiply within the tooth's inner chamber. This inner chamber also contains the blood vessels and connective tissue used under normal circumstances to nourish the tooth.

In the worst case scenario, the tooth will actually form an abscess, or a pus-filled pocket, that forms at the root's end. Once the pulp is infected, there is really no alternative route other than performing a root canal treatment to save the tooth. Since the root is only involved in the sensory functions of the tooth, it can be removed with very little consequence.

People often ask, “How will I know that I need root canal treatment?” Here are a few easy ways to know if it is time to talk to Asha Dental and get an inspection for an infected tooth.

You have a swelling or tenderness around the gums

This can range from being very slight, where you will not even notice it, to extremely obvious.

The tooth will become highly sensitive, especially to changes in temperature

This is simply the reaction your teeth have when exposed to heat or cold. When the tooth is infected, changes in temperature are likely to send a sharp pain into your gums. You could have reoccurring or persistent pain

The pain can be a sharp headache that does not go away quickly or a dull and continuous ache. If the pain is severe enough to wake you up in the middle of the night, it is definitely time to see a dentist.

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