Damaged teeth can easily become dangerous for both neighboring teeth and your mouth as a whole. It’s important for any damage to be repaired quickly and effectively. In some cases, the damage may be too severe, or cannot be repaired for some other reason. In these scenarios, tooth removal might be the best option.
What’s the Difference?
Root canals and tooth extractions are two different methods that are used to treat damaged teeth. A root canal is useful when teeth are still viable and can be salvaged. This happens if the actual tooth is relatively healthy, but the underlying pulp is infected or dying. In other cases, your tooth may become too unstable or too weak to endure the repair process. This can happen if you’ve got a major cavity or a fractured tooth. Tooth extraction is often the best option in this scenario.
Essentially, root canals clean out the “root” of the affected tooth, also known as the pulp. Pulp can become infected if exposed by a deep cavity, allowing bacteria to access the region and contaminate it. Dead pulp is of no use to your tooth, and can become a dangerous source of further bacterial infections. A root canal involves the removal of the affected pulp, followed by a thorough cleaning of the pulp chambers. The pulp is then replaced by a special material to fill in the gap. Finally, a crown is placed over top of the tooth as a final layer of protection and to restore the tooth’s original appearance.
Tooth extractions are pretty self explanatory, and are used when the tooth cannot be saved. For example, a large fracture through the tooth is a common reason for tooth extraction procedures. Your dentist will numb the area to ensure you feel nothing, then go in with a special tool to gently loosen the affected tooth before extracting it with forceps. While the procedure doesn’t sound pleasant, you won’t feel anything during the procedure except for some slight pressure. Expect to deal with some bleeding for about a day afterwards, as well as swelling around the area. The discomfort can be remedied by ice packs and home treatment. Ensure that you’re gentle with the area for the next little while, especially when brushing, to ensure that it doesn’t become infected.
Taking good care of your teeth is the best way to prevent problems from developing! Centennial Smiles hopes that you never need to lose a tooth or come in for a root canal, but we’re here to help if that isn’t the case. Call us at 587-353-5060 to book an appointment today!