Saving a Tooth V Extraction
Sometimes bad things happen to good teeth! Despite dental treatment, and even root canal therapy, some teeth can still have pain. What next??? Sometimes, teeth need to be extracted. There is just no alternative. There may have been a fracture, severe loss of tooth structure due to decay, or loss of the bone and tissue that supports the tooth.
Other times, a dentist may think a tooth needs to be extracted, when there may be other options for treatment. Tooth extraction should not be considered until all other options are examined. Although implants are a great way to replace a missing tooth, they are costly and take 4-18 months to complete the process. An implant and crown average about twice the cost of maintaining the tooth, and despite what you may read, an implant is not better than the natural tooth it is replacing (nothing we replace it with is better, just a good substitute). If there is persistent infection or pain after root canal procedure, it does not necessarily mean the tooth needs to be removed. There are several reasons that a tooth may continue to be painful after a root canal:
– An untreated root or nerve canal (tooth anatomy is complex stuff)
– The tooth was not properly disinfected
– An aggressive type of bacteria may remain in the tooth
An endodontist, or dental root canal specialist, can accurately diagnose the issue and offer treatment options. We are specialists in saving teeth. In fact, that is the tag line for the American Association of Endodontists (www.aae.org). An endodontist may have multiple options for attempting to save the tooth, all of which are less expensive and can be accomplished in one or two visits. If an endodontist suggests that the tooth needs to be removed, then it is a good bet that there is no other option, as most endodontist do not remove teeth or place dental implants, and would not recommend this as the best option unless it is. Although most people are referred to an endodontist, you don’t have to be referred. You can easily look one up online and call to schedule an appointment, even if it is just for a second opinion. Although your general dentist is knowledgeable and well-trained, it is impossible for them to know every aspect of dentistry, and there is nothing wrong with seeking someone else’s opinion. Feel free to call Southwest Endodontics, or go to our website, www.southwestendo.com, for more information. We are born with a finite amount of teeth, so do everything you can to make them last!
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