When comparing the prospect of a root canal versus having a tooth pulled, neither sounds that great. If you've developed a serious infection in a tooth, however, something has to be done. With a root canal, an endodontist will remove the infected pulp from inside the tooth, then clean the tooth and disinfect it. The empty canal is then filled with a rubber-like material and is sealed. A temporary filling will be applied so it looks and functions like your other teeth. During a follow-up visit, the endodontist will remove the temporary filling and replace it with a permanent one, or with a crown, to protect the tooth from future damage.
By contrast, if you choose to have the infected tooth pulled, you'll have to have a dental bridge or an implant inserted into the space to hold the place of the missing tooth. While some people may think replacing the tooth is unnecessary, it depends on the individual's personal situation. Not only is it unattractive to have a large gap between two teeth, it creates an imbalance in the structure of the mouth that may become impossible to correct. A person's facial muscles, teeth, and nerves compensate for the missing tooth by gradually moving the other teeth to take its place, which can cause your teeth to become misaligned.
Root canal therapy, with modern techniques and anesthesia, is a virtually painless procedure. It requires fewer follow-up visits than a tooth extraction, and has a high rate of success with results that last a lifetime.
Sometimes a tooth can't be saved and needs to be removed. A tooth with an extensive crack that reaches below the gumline or that is too weak to be repaired will usually have to come out. For more information about root canals and tooth extractions, please contact:
Webster Cosmetic Dentistry, Ltd.
1121 Warren Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515