When a tooth is infected on the inside, it will die if something is not done to save it. The solution is root canal therapy, which will restore the tooth and prevent its loss. Some people believe that having a diseased tooth pulled is a good alternative to root canal, but saving a tooth can prevent other problems and is always the best option.
Root canal saves a tooth by cleaning out diseased and dying tissue from its inner chamber. The chamber is then filled with a strong material, the entire area is sanitized, and then the tooth is reinforced with a filling or crown. A tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy is restored, strong and can last a lifetime.
Having a dying tooth pulled may seem like an easy alternative to root canal, but most people are not aware of the problems that can be caused by a missing tooth. An open space between your teeth can weaken the foundation of the rest of your teeth. Beginning with the teeth that surround the missing one, the other teeth can gradually begin to shift out of position. Losing just one tooth can lead to crooked teeth and bite problems in the future.
Oral hygiene becomes difficult as teeth shift out of position, because gaps are created that can be difficult to clean. The chance of gum disease is increased as food particles are more likely to be left behind.
When a tooth is lost, replacing it can eliminate some of these problems, but saving a natural tooth with root canal is always recommended. A root canal procedure is generally less expensive and less complicated than getting an extraction and replacement like a bridge or implant. The success rates for root canal and implants are about equal, and both are very high; but with root canal, the tooth you have is your own, with its own natural root still intact.
Root canal today is described as painless by the majority of patients who have undergone the procedure. It can be completed in usually just two office visits, with the second one being for the placement of the crown on the tooth.