An infected tooth is no picnic. Your tooth nerve is trapped inside the tooth with bacteria, which multiply the point of creating terrible pressure on the nerve. Their toxic excretions can kill the nerve. And in the process, you might experience pain, foul taste in your mouth, a foul smell, even fever. And, if left untreated, the tooth could turn into a systemic infection that could lay you up, even kill you.
But a root canal treatment saves you and saves your tooth. Though much maligned, it can be a godsend in the right situation. And, even today, that remains true. However, these days we tend to recommend root canal treatment less often because of dental implants.
Why Root Canal Therapy Became Popular
Okay, so maybe “popular” isn’t quite the right word for root canal therapy. In all honesty, this is a procedure that probably will never win a popularity contest, but it did become a common procedure, thanks to its many benefits.
In the heyday of root canal therapy, there were only two good options if you had an infected tooth: pull it or root canal therapy. And if you pulled your tooth, you only had three options for tooth replacement, none of which were good.
If you got a tooth pulled, you could leave the space. This not only leaves a gap in your smile, but can cause your teeth to drift. Your teeth get harder to clean and can be more susceptible to cavities and cracking. Or you could get a partial denture. The partial denture keeps your teeth from drifting, but it causes wear and traps plaque against your teeth. Your teeth are more likely to decay or break with a partial denture. Or you could get a dental bridge, usually considered the least bad alternative. They can actually be good in the right situation. But in the wrong situation, they can cause your supporting teeth to fail, too.
In other words, once you chose to lose one tooth, you were likely to lose more.
But root canal therapy saved the tooth. It didn’t rely on other teeth for support. It could last a long time, and it functioned just like it had before. And that means that it stopped the chain reaction, so it didn’t just save the one tooth, it could save many of your teeth.
Root Canals Aren’t as Necessary Today
Although root canal therapy still offers benefits, dental implants may be better in some situations. Unlike partial dentures or bridges, dental implants don’t need to be supported by your natural teeth. This means that they don’t put you at risk for losing more teeth. So if a tooth is likely going to be a problem for root canal therapy, we might recommend that you remove it. It could be the better choice.
This allows us to save root canal therapy for the times when it’s likely to be successful. And the same for dental bridges. If a bridge looks risky, we’ll recommend an implant instead. This allows us to do better root canal therapy and better bridges, when we choose to.
Let Us Find the Best Treatment for Your Tooth
If you’ve got an infected tooth in Anchorage, you need someone to evaluate the tooth and recommend the best treatment. Because we offer a full range of treatments, we’re able to offer the one that’s going to give you the results you’re looking for, whether that’s a root canal, a dental bridge, or a dental implant.