If a tooth becomes infected, there are two possible treatment options: root canal therapy and extraction. When a tooth is removed, it should be replaced to preserve optimal oral health. A dental implant can replace a tooth that was removed due to decay, infection, or damage. But how can you know which treatment option is right for you?
About Root Canal Therapy
The purpose of root canal therapy is to remove the infected tissues inside the tooth. To do this, special endodontic instruments are used to access the internal tooth structure. After carefully removing the nerves and pulp, the root canals are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Next, the canals are filled with a restorative material called gutta percha, and the tooth is sealed with a composite resin filling. In many cases, a dental crown is added for optimal strength.
Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy offers several advantages for patients with infected teeth. For example:
- The natural tooth is preserved, and no extraction is necessary.
- Treatment takes less time than dental implant placement.
- Root canal therapy is virtually painless thanks to modern techniques.
When is Root Canal Therapy Recommended?
To qualify for root canal therapy, you must have sufficient remaining tooth structure. If the tooth is too broken down, the procedure won’t be feasible. Furthermore, root canal therapy can fail, especially if it is performed on a tooth with a poor prognosis.
However, if you are in good oral health otherwise and the affected tooth has a good prognosis, root canal therapy could be an excellent solution. During a consultation at our practice, we can help you weigh the pros and cons of this treatment option.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are small threaded posts made from surgical-grade titanium. Currently deemed as the most successful teeth replacement option, implants can last a lifetime with proper care.
Generally, it takes between three and six months to complete dental implant placement. After the initial procedure, it takes several weeks for the bone to fuse to the implant. This step is crucial for the long-term success of your implant. Once healed, a final crown can be added, and the implant can be used just like a natural tooth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Implants offer a wide range of benefits for patients who require teeth replacement. For instance:
- Dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth.
- Implants stimulate nerves in the jaw, promoting bone health.
- With proper oral healthcare, implants can last for the rest of your life.
When is an Extraction and Implant Recommended?
In simple terms, a tooth should be extracted if it has a poor prognosis. It’s up to you and your dentist to discuss the risks and benefits of root canal therapy vs an extraction and implant. Though root canal therapy may be slightly more affordable up front, dental implants are sometimes the best investment in the long run.
Contact Our Practice to Learn More
If you have an infected tooth, or recently lost a tooth due to infection, schedule a consultation at our practice to discuss your options. Contact Kreeb Family Dentistry online or call us at (704) 875-7200.