If you’re struggling with an infected tooth, you may assume that the best solution is to have it pulled. In reality, dentists and dental experts recommend preserving and repairing your natural tooth whenever possible. One of the ways to do that is with endodontic therapy or “root canal” treatment.
What are the Benefits of Saving My Tooth?
- A natural tooth is better for chewing. When it comes to eating, your natural teeth offer optimal functionality for biting and grinding food. Yes, tooth replacements like bridges or partials are always an option, but they aren’t the best choice. Preserving your original tooth is a top priority.
- It keeps other teeth in place. When a permanent tooth is removed, the surrounding teeth will begin to shift out of alignment. Eventually, this scenario will lead to spacing problems and irregular wear patterns throughout your mouth.
- Changes in your appearance. The loss of a tooth leads to bone resorption (shrinkage) in that location, which can then contribute to a sunken-in appearance in your facial profile.
- A root canal is more comfortable. Extracting a tooth requires several days of healing. In rare cases, a painful dry socket may develop. Additional procedures will then be needed to replace the tooth, multiplying the number of required dental treatments.
- A gap in your smile can affect your self-confidence. Having an open space in your bite may prevent you from wanting to smile or interact in social settings.
- It saves you money. Replacing an extracted tooth with an implant or bridge requires additional treatment expenses on top of your initial procedure. By preserving your natural tooth with a root canal, the entire process can usually be completed in just one or two trips to the endodontist’s office.
When Should I Get My Tooth Extracted?
Sometimes it’s not possible to save a natural tooth via root canal treatment. When that’s the case, it’s best to have it removed before the infection gets worse. Our Louisville endodontist might recommend a dental extraction in cases involving:
- Extreme structural damage due to extensive decay
- A crack in the tooth that extends down into the root
- Aggressive bone loss in that area, due to past or present gum disease
- Severe internal resorption (shrinkage) of your dying tooth structure
Considering Endodontic Treatment?
Thanks to incredible advancements in endodontic technology, getting a root canal is faster and gentler than ever. Preserving your natural tooth allows you to continue eating the foods you love and smile with confidence for years to come. Schedule an appointment with Scott A. Norton, DMD of Louisville today to discuss whether a root canal is the best option for you.