When tooth decay becomes severe, it can allow bacteria to reach the inner pulp and nerve tissues of the tooth, resulting in a painful root canal infection. If left untreated, a root canal infection may spread to the surrounding tissues and cause tooth loss.
Root canal therapy can help treat root canal infections and save a tooth from further damage or loss. In some cases, a root canal infection and associated dental damage may be too severe to be saved with root canal therapy. In such circumstances, tooth extraction may be the only option for restoring oral health.
During patient consultations, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky determines when root canal therapy versus tooth extraction is the most suitable treatment option for patients in Edmonton, AB.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a dental treatment used to clean the inner chamber of an infected tooth, eliminate infection, and prevent tooth loss.
Root canal therapy is a simple procedure, during which the inner chambers of the damaged tooth are accessed and the inflamed, infected tissue within the tooth is removed. The inner chamber of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected down to the bottom of the tooth's roots.
Once clean, the tooth is filled with a special material called gutta percha to add strength and support to the tooth from within. As a final step, the tooth is sealed off with a dental filling or, more commonly, a dental crown is placed over the treated tooth to protect the outer structure of the tooth from further damage.
Occasionally, a root canal infection may be too severe to treat with root canal therapy, or a tooth may be too damaged to support a restoration. In either case, extraction may be necessary to restore oral health and prevent infection from spreading to the surrounding teeth and tissues.
The tooth extraction procedure is relatively quick and straightforward. During tooth extraction, the mouth is numbed to ensure patient comfort. Next, the infected tooth is gently loosened and then completely removed.
After tooth extraction, patients may undergo treatment to restore their extracted tooth. There are different treatment options, including dental bridges and dental implants, to restore dental function and preserve the appearance of the smile. Dental implants are often the preferred restoration choice as they anchor within the jaw, like the natural tooth root, making them look, feel, and function like the natural teeth.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
Once a root canal infection develops, it won't clear up on its own. Immediate treatment through root canal therapy can help eliminate the infection and protect the tooth from requiring extraction.
If you are experiencing the signs of a root canal infection, including severe tooth pain when chewing, increased dental sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, or isolated tenderness or swelling of the gums, it's important to schedule a consultation with Dr. Podilsky to ensure your oral health is protected. Please contact our staff today to schedule an appointment.