Root Canal Education and Alternatives
What is root canal?
The purpose of a root canal is to eliminate pain and save an infected and dying tooth. The living tissue inside a tooth is called pulp (the nerve) and it keeps the tooth healthy and alive and connected with the meridian system. If the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it must be removed in order to eliminate the pain; the space is filled with gutta-percha (nonconductive, thermoplastic latex material) and cemented in the place of the nerve. At Bio Dental we offer a choice of procedures that can be successfully done as an alternative to the root canal. We respect our patients’ choice and always offer the best treatment option possible.
Root Canal Alternatives
The most obvious alternative to a root canal is simply extracting the tooth. At Bio Dental we will always try to save your teeth by using Ozone and other advanced technologies, but sometimes extraction is the only option available.
- Another alternative is known as pulp capping. There are two typed of pulp capping, direct and indirect. Here, a sealant is used to close off the entrance to the pulp in direct capping. While in the indirect capping the sealant or the pulp protecting material placed on the area closest to the nerve. This is not always successful, and you may eventually still be required to have the other alternative treatment.
- This means that really, the only truly viable alternative to root canals is to extract the affected tooth altogether. This is an option, however it is universally considered better by dentists to save a natural tooth where possible, as synthetic teeth simply aren’t yet as good as real ones. Extraction is usually only used as a last resort when there is no way to save an infected tooth, or where the choice is related to cosmetic dentistry rather than a diseased tooth.
- Abridge denture: This would be if you elect to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental bridge.
- A dental implant: Implant can provide a similar alternative. Only your dentist can guide you to the right choice for you depending on whether the nerves have not yet been infected and the severity of the infection or inflammation. Dental implants can replace teeth and restore function and esthetics.