Tooth problems hurt. It is one those truths in life with which no one can disagree. The deep discomfort in the mouth, the difficulty eating, and the sharp pain when you touch that sore tooth with your tongue or food. We all know the feeling and it is why we go to the dentist to get relief.
When the pain comes from a dead tooth or an infection deep in the gums and roots of a tooth, you know you are in serious trouble. The fix is not going to be comfortable and it may take some time to get things right.
At South Plains Rural Health, we see severe tooth problems all the time. Patients come to us in the worst pain and look for immediate relief. Extraction may be the easy solution, but there are times when root canal treatment is the better option.
Let’s take a closer look at when you should choose a root canal over a tooth extraction.
Getting to the root of the problem
The serious pain, usually in a rear molar, comes from infection and decay in the tooth and the roots holding it in place.
At South Plains Rural Health, we will take a complete view of your mouth and see where the problem, or problems, originate. The examination will often involve x-rays to see exactly what is happening beneath the surface.
When we have a full idea of what is happening in your mouth, then we can recommend a specific treatment.
Dealing with infection first
In cases where the infection is causing problems such as swelling and severe pain, we will recommend a course of antibiotics. Only when the infection clears can we see what needs doing and begin any work.
Choosing Root Canal
At South Plains Rural Health, we like to see our patients keep their natural teeth for as long as possible. When you ask us for advice on what to do with a serious problem, we will give you an outline of why root canal is often the better option.
The list may include:
- Root canal is not painful: There was a time when a root canal was a very painful process to undergo and some patients took extraction as the better option. Modern pain medication is powerful and pain is minimal. Dental techniques and instruments are superior to those once used, and this makes the surgery less invasive.
- Extraction leaves gaps: If you can save a tooth, you should always take that option. When you remove a natural tooth, it leaves gaps in your mouth. The gaps can be unsightly if they are in the front of the jaw and it may cost more to fit a replacement. A cap, a crown, or an inlay or onlay on the remainder of your tooth will cost less and look better.
- Teeth move about: Another problem with leaving gaps is that teeth will move into the gaps. The movement can weaken teeth around the gap and allow infection into the gums. Keeping a tooth in place helps retain the structure and overall strength of your teeth. Eating and smiling will be a lot easier, too.
Keeping a tooth is the better option. Proper root canal treatment will save a tooth, and with good dental hygiene, it should last a lifetime, without the need for further treatment. With the original tooth, the line of your jaw stays firm, your teeth are healthy, and you will need fewer visits to the dentist.
The best way to avoid root canal treatment or extraction is to maintain good dental health. Regular visits to see us are vital. When problems do arise, do not delay in seeking professional help. Schedule an appointment with South Plains Rural health today and stay ahead of any dental problems.