Patients today have more options than ever before to treat their teeth. Understanding your choices and their impact on your future dental health and lifestyle is important. Read on to learn why nothing is as good as your natural tooth and get simple tips for saving your teeth!
Saving a natural tooth through endodontic treatment (root canal) should always be the first choice for the best health and cosmetic results. There are many advantages to saving your natural tooth:
- Efficient chewing
- Normal biting force, so you can continue to eat your favorite foods
- Maintains a natural appearance
- Limits the need for more costly, ongoing dental work
What to avoid
- Never choose extraction because you think it will be cheaper! When a natural tooth is extracted, it must be replaced with an artificial tooth to prevent other teeth from shifting, and to prevent future dental problems. The cost of a denture, bridge or implant, plus the extraction, often is higher than the cost of an endodontic procedure that would save the tooth for years to come. Most dental insurance plans cover endodontic treatment.
- Never choose extraction because you think root canal treatment will be painful! Modern techniques and effective anesthesia make root canal treatment virtually painless. In fact, discomfort after the procedure is generally greater with tooth extraction. Patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than those patients who have not had a root canal.
- Never choose extraction because you think it will be quicker! Endodontic treatments generally require one to two visits lasting less than an hour each. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits with your dentist.