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Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist

Treating Root Infections: Root Canal Therapy vs. Tooth Extraction

By Alex Hecht on December 24, 2017

Dental damage, such as tooth decay, a chip, or fracture, can allow bacteria to reach the delicate tissues within the teeth, leading to a painful root canal infection. Seeking treatment as soon as possible is essential for treating root canal infections and saving the teeth from further damage. Restorative dentistry treatments can help address dental damage caused by root canal infections for improved oral health and restored dental function. There are two primary options for treating these types of infections and restoring oral health; root canal therapy and tooth extraction. Today we'll take a closer look at root canal therapy versus tooth extraction in this overview from Staten Island, NY dentists Alex and Jason Hecht.

An X-ray showing a root canal infection

When Is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?

Root canal therapy is a procedure used to treat root canal infections and save teeth from further damage and tooth loss. Root canal therapy is a relatively simple procedure during which the mouth is numbed and infected tissues, including nerves, blood vessels, and pulp tissue, are removed. In order to access these infected tissues, a hole is made within the tooth and the decayed areas are removed. The infected tissue is then removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned down to the roots.

Once the infected tissue and decayed areas of the tooth are removed, the tooth will be filled with a special material called gutta percha to help restore some strength to the tooth's walls. Treatment is then completed with either a dental filling or a dental crown to prevent damage and restore function to the tooth.

When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary

Root canal therapy is the preferred choice of treatment for root canal infections, but sometimes the infection may be too severe or damage too extensive that root canal therapy is no longer an option. In such cases, tooth extraction is often the best solution.

Tooth extraction is a simple procedure performed in a single dental visit. Before a damaged tooth is extracted, the mouth is numbed to ensure patient comfort and reduce any potential pain during the procedure. Next, the tooth is gently maneuvered to loosen it within its socket. Once loose, the tooth is easily removed.

After tooth extraction, it is important to seek restorative dental treatment to replace the missing tooth. Without replacement, the remaining teeth may shift and dental function will be impaired. Fortunately, there are multiple treatment options for treating tooth loss. Many patients choose dental implants because they provide both natural-looking and natural-feeling results. Dental implants can be paired with dental crowns to replace individual teeth, or dental bridges or implant-supported dentures to replace multiple teeth.

The Importance of Seeking Treatment

Whether root canal therapy or tooth extraction is needed, it is important to seek treatment for a root canal infection. Without treatment, root canal infections can spread to the bone and tissues supporting the teeth. Seeking treatment at the first signs of a root canal infection can help protect the teeth from further damage or the need for extraction.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are experiencing dental pain, increased dental sensitivity, or facial swelling, you may have a root canal infection. Treatment from Drs. Alex and Jason Hecht can help. Please contact our friendly staff today to schedule a consultation.

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