Rather than a feared dental procedure, a root canal is actually a good thing because it means that a tooth can be saved. When a tooth’s nerve and pulp becomes infected, a dentist will generally do everything possible to save the tooth, including a root canal. But sometimes, it might not be as clear whether or not a root canal can save the tooth or if the tooth must be extracted.
There are several factors that influence this decision. These include whether there is infection in the surrounding bone, the amount and condition of the remaining tooth structure, the strength of the supporting bone, and the presence of periodontal disease.
During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp of the tooth is removed. This tissue contains veins, arteries and lymph vessels. The dentist or endodontist uses files of various sizes to clean out the canals. Once the roots are cleaned out and widened, they are filled with a special rubber material that seals them off.
A root canal is usually the most conservative treatment when a root is infected or a tooth has severe decay or damage. Root canals have been performed with success for generations and have a very low failure rate. But there is always a slight possibility that a tooth with a root canal can have complications down the road. If there was a tiny crack in the treated tooth, it can become re-infected. Teeth with curved roots are more difficult to fill and they can also become re-infected. Occasionally, the tip of a file can break off in a root during the procedure and cause problems.
Because there is always a slight risk that a root canal can fail and eventually require extraction, some patients wonder if they should just get a dental implant in the first place. This is not a black and white decision. Like root canals, dental implants have a high success rate. But there are risks with dental implants, as well.
If you have been told that a root canal or a dental implant is necessary, talk with your dentist about the pros and cons of each procedure. Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option out there, and we specialize in placing and restoring dental implants. Call 720-457-3402 today to schedule your consultation and learn about the implant options available to you.
New Image Dental Implant Center