>When 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? Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.