Problems with teeth can cause immense pain and the need for medical attention. Depending on the problem, there are a number of procedures that a trained dentist can use to correct the issue. One such issue is when an infection occurs in the pulp or nerves of the tooth.
The pulp is inside of the tooth and actually contains living tissue, so an infection within this area of the tooth can be excessively painful. Like almost every other dental issue, there is more than one way that the problem can be handled by a dentist.
The choice of procedures depends on the case.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy actually aims to remove the pulp from the tooth along with the bacteria that caused the initial infection. This is a delicate process that can actually solve the problem while saving the natural tooth. The root canal is actually a hollow part within the tooth that houses the pulp. The dentist has the difficult job of navigating the root canal to remove infected material.
Dentists begin root canal therapies by making a hole in the upper part of the tooth. They will then remove pulp from the inside of a tooth’s root canal. After all pulp is removed, the dentist cleans the inside of the tooth in trying to remove any bacteria. A rubbery material is then filled into the tooth where the pulp once was and the hole through which the dentist worked is sealed off with a hard filling.
Root canal therapy is ideal for people who are on certain medications like bisphosphonates due to the fact that the other option, a dental implant, isn’t safe for people on these medications. People with diabetes are also often precluded from having a dental implant, so root canal therapy is also a good option for them. There are actually a number of conditions that prevent restorative procedures besides root canals. If the dentist knows the patient’s existent conditions, then it is likely that root canal therapy is the way they will go.
Dental implants are a type of prosthetic placed into the jaw. If the patient needs a completely replaced tooth, dental implants are a great idea. The implant is usually made from titanium and will replace the root of the tooth. These implants are even made to resemble the natural form of the tooth root. The jaw will naturally heal around these implants, and in many cases the prosthetic could be a permanent fix. This prosthetic can then support dentures, crowns and dental bridges.
Dental implants would be helpful for a number of people in different situations. A patient whose tooth has suffered severe damage or rigorous tooth decay is likely a good candidate for an implant due to the fact that root canal therapy cannot always repair teeth with this level of damage.
Some people also have extremely complex root canals within their teeth that make it difficult for a dentist to remove all the pulp and infection. In these cases, dental implants are also a good option. Another issue that could prevent a tooth from benefiting from root canal therapy is if the tooth has a crack in it. The methods used during root canal therapy will not repair a crack, so dental implants are the best method to make sure full repair.
Root canal therapy and dental implants share similar success rates among dental patients. Neither of the procedures is really better than the other in every single case. It is important that dentists treat tooth damage on a case by case basis. What may be a good procedure in one instance may be completely ineffective or dangerous in another. Regardless of the best procedure under the circumstances, an experienced dentist can help save a patient’s smile.