Tooth Saving Tips
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 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
Tips for Saving Your Teeth
- If you are given a choice between root canal treatment or tooth extraction, we always recommend root canal treatment whenever possible.
- If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, always ask whether root canal treatment would be an alternative option.
- If your dentist says that an endodontic procedure is not an option, ask why. You always have the option to request a referral to an endodontist for an additional opinion. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving teeth, and have at least two years of advanced training in performing root canal related procedures. They are experts at diagnosing and relieving tooth pain, and use advanced equipment to treat patients efficiently and comfortably.
What to Avoid
You should never choose extraction only 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 cost, is usually significantly higher than the cost of an endodontic procedure that would otherwise save the tooth for years to come. Additionally, most dental insurance plans cover endodontic treatment.
Never choose extraction because you think root canal treatment will be painful! Modern techniques and effective anesthesia techniques make root canal treatment virtually painless. In fact, discomfort after the procedure is generally greater with a tooth extraction. Patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had a root canal.
Never choose extraction because you think it will be quicker! Endodontic treatments generally require one, or occasionally two, visits. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits with your dentist, and extensive healing times between visits are usually also involved.