When you have a deep cavity, should you just get the tooth removed? Studies suggest that there is a lot more damage to extracting teeth than previously thought. Most dentists are now trying to preserve teeth through the use of root canals. Even when teeth must be extracted, there are some methods that might be more appropriate than others.
How is a tooth repaired?
If a tooth with a deep cavity or crack can be repaired, it is usually done so with a root canal. The root canal cleans out the diseased pulp from the tooth, leaving the tooth in place. The cavity is then filled, and depending on the state of the tooth, a crown may be required to protect the remaining tooth.
Why wouldn’t you repair a tooth?
It might seem as though the best thing you can do is keep your teeth as long as possible, so a root canal might be an attractive solution, even with the cost, but some teeth are too far gone for repair. In addition, a root canal may only save the tooth for a brief period of time. Eventually, the tooth will be lost anyway. If you are already missing teeth and are looking at dental implants for repair, an extraction now might be the best option.
But isn’t extraction harmful?
Yes, a full extraction can be harmful and make it difficult for you to get a dental implant in the future. When the tooth and root are completely removed, it weakens the jaw bone and the ridge line. While a dental implant could still be possible, it might require a bone graft.
That’s why our dentists prefer to use partial extraction therapy. In this practice, the tooth is removed, but any healthy part of the root is left in place. By doing so, the bone maintains its strength and is prime for a dental implant.
Which is right for me?
While we prefer to use partial extraction therapy, there are instances in which a full extraction or a root canal might be called for. Which procedure is right to address your problem tooth depends on a lot of factors that only a dentist with a complete x-ray is able to diagnose. If you have a troublesome tooth that needs to be addressed right away, contact us today to schedule your appointment.