You have been recommended to MY Dental Associate PC for an endodontic treatment — commonly known as a root canal — and now you may be wondering if there are any alternatives to this procedure? Before discussing other options, it’s important to understand exactly what this common procedure accomplishes.
What is the purpose of an endodontic treatment?
Endodontic treatment is done when a tooth’s pulp — the inside of the tooth that houses the nerves and blood vessels — becomes infected or inflamed. In order to eliminate any pain and save the tooth, the damaged pulp is removed, the area is cleaned, and the tooth is sealed.
What are my other options?
According the American Association of Endodontics (AAE), the alternative to endodontic treatment is usually the complete removal the damaged tooth. If you have a tooth extracted, the AAE recommends replacing it with a dental implant, a bridge, or a removable partial denture. Failure to replace the extracted tooth could result in problems with chewing and biting, shifts in your remaining teeth, and self-consciousness.
Here are more details on the most common types of tooth replacements:
- Dental implants – According to the American Dental Association, dental implants are effective and common options for replacing teeth. The implant is made from materials that are compatible with the human mouth and the device includes an artificial tooth. The placement of the implant and artificial tooth can be completed in one day, although some patients may need to wait up to several months before an artificial tooth can be added to the implant.
- Bridges – Bridges do exactly what their name suggests: they bridge the space left by one or two missing teeth. Your dentist will bond the bridge to your remaining, natural teeth in order to keep it in place. Bridges can only be removed or put in place by a dentist.
- Removable partial denture – Much like bridges, removable partial dentures are made up of replacement teeth that attach to your natural teeth. These, however, may be removed and replaced by the patient on a daily basis.
The AAE notes that dental implants have the same success rates as endodontic treatments. Even so, nothing can fully replace the look, capabilities, or the feel of your own teeth, which is why endodontic treatment (preserving the natural tooth) with the doctor is an important decision!
Don't hesitate to contact our New York, New York office if you have further questions!