When a tooth’s nerve and pulp becomes infected, the team at Town and Country Cosmetic Dentistry and Implant Center has to make a choice: whether to attempt saving the tooth with a root canal, or extracting it.
There are several factors that influence this determination. These include whether there is an infection in the surrounding bone, the amount and condition of the remaining tooth structure, the strength of the supporting bone, and the presence of periodontitis.
In a root canal (endodontic) procedure, we remove the nerve and pulp of the tooth. This tissue contains veins, arteries, and lymph vessels. We use 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 procedure is just the initial step in the complete tooth restoration process. After the root canal, without a crown, the tooth will probably become dry and brittle. The final steps are the core build-up and crown placement. A strong, natural looking crown protects the remaining tooth and functions like a natural tooth.
A root canal is ordinarily the most conservative treatment when a root is infected or a tooth has acute 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.
Due to the slight risk of failure, some patients question whether they should just get a tooth 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 needed, talk with us about the pros and cons of each procedure. Town and Country Cosmetic Dentistry and Implant Center in Chesterfield MO performs root canals, as well as dental implants. We also offer general dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.
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