When we have a toothache and our dentist tells us we need a root canal, those are the words we all dread hearing. But how can we know if that’s the right option? Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of root canals.
A root canal procedure is used to preserve a decayed or damaged tooth. This is accomplished by removing the infected pulp and nerves, and carefully cleaning the insides of the tooth, followed by packing and sealing it with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha. Costs vary depending on the local endodontist – however, in general, it is fairly inexpensive.
In what circumstances does a root canal become necessary?
There are several factors that can cause the pulp and nerves of a tooth to become inflamed or infected:
- Deep decay
- An injury to the face
- A fractured tooth
- Multiple procedures or large fillings in a tooth
While root canals are not risk-free, if the tooth is not treated, it will only deteriorate. As a result, the tooth is likely to abscess, leading to moderate to severe pain and, eventually, to a loss of bone, resulting in the tooth’s extraction; this then presents aesthetic, financial, and most importantly, functional problems.
Advantages of Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment should not be put off for the following reasons:
- Preventing an abscess, spreading infection, and oral bone damage. It is important to prevent infection from spreading as it can cause serious complications.
- Relief from painful and uncomfortable conditions.
- This process is less painful than a tooth extraction, which leaves a gap unless replaced with an implant. It is necessary to replace the gap with an implant so that you may continue to bite and chew normally.
- This is a more affordable alternative to replacing the tooth with an implant.
- The natural appearance makes it more cosmetically appealing.
- An open space between your teeth may cause your teeth to shift, changing your bite and making it uncomfortable. It may even lead to Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) or occlusion problems.
- An implant cannot match the appearance, feel, or functionality of a tooth.
In short, root canals are a better option than extractions because you get to keep your tooth. Despite the fact that the tooth may be dead, this method is still beneficial because you can continue to eat and speak as usual after it has been removed.
Disadvantages of Root Canal Treatment
Likewise, there are also disadvantages to the procedure, such as:
- A root canal is not 100% guaranteed.
- If the dental restoration is inadequate, it could breed infection, necessitating antibiotics and analgesics.
- Due to its hollowness, the tooth will become fragile and brittle.
- Afterward, a porcelain crown, post, or both will be necessary to reinforce the tooth. As a result, this procedure becomes more expensive.
- Multiple visits and extensive work are required.
- It may cause discomfort to the mouth and jaw.
- The tooth may darken or discolor after the procedure.
Essentially, any dental procedure carries risks. Sometimes root canal treatment does not work, and specialized endodontic treatment may be required to save the tooth, such as an apicoectomy – the removal of the end of the tooth root.
A toothache or swelling in your jaw can be frightening. Thanks to root canal therapy, you will feel better faster because the infection is removed at its source. Our Louisville Endodontist office can help if you think you have an infected or abscessed tooth. By seeking treatment soon, you can prevent infection from spreading and relieve your pain so you can live a normal life again. Contact Scott A. Norton, DMD of Louisville today.
Scott A. Norton, DMD of Louisville
Phone: (502) 899-5559
4010 Dupont Circle, Suite #276
Louisville, KY 40207