Root Canals And Why They Are Preferred Over Extractions

If one of your teeth becomes infected or decayed, an extraction may seem like the best choice. After all, if you are in pain, you probably just want the discomfort to stop.

However, a root canal offers an alternative option to having the tooth pulled. Here is a bit of information about root canals and why they are preferred over extractions when possible.

What Is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is a procedure that is used to repair and salvage a tooth when its pulp has become damaged. During the root canal, the dentist numbs the tooth and the area around it. Then, they drill an opening into the tooth and remove the pulp. The interior of the tooth is then disinfected and filled with a rubbery material to replace the missing pulp material. Finally, the dentist seals the tooth and covers it with a dental crown.

Why Is It Important to Salvage the Tooth?

Although there are artificial replacement teeth available, it is typically best to salvage your natural teeth.

Here are a few benefits of keeping a natural tooth:

Avoid orthodontic issues

Once a tooth is missing, nearby teeth can shift into the resulting space. As the shifting becomes more pronounced, dental alignment problems may develop.

A natural tooth is stronger

A natural tooth can often withstand a greater amount of bite pressure and function than a false tooth can.

Avoid an older appearance

The teeth support the soft tissues of the face. When a tooth is lost, the facial structure may collapse a bit in the area, giving the face a more hollow, saggy look.

Avoid dry socket

When a tooth is pulled, there is an opportunity for a painful condition called dry socket to develop. However, with a root canal, pain is immediately eliminated.

Continue jawbone support

A tooth passes bite pressure along to the jawbone as you chew. This pressure stimulates the bone tissue. As the bone tissue is stimulated, new bone cells are produced. However, when a tooth is lost, no stimulation occurs at that site, and the jaw bone may begin to shrink.

How Do You Know That You Need a Root Canal?

Here are a few indications that a root canal may be necessary to treat your tooth:

  • Swelling around a tooth
  • Discoloration in the tooth
  • Extreme pain
  • A pimple-like growth near the tooth
  • Greater dental sensitivity to changes in temperature

To learn more about root canal procedures and their benefits, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.