If you’re suffering from a major toothache, you might be starting to worry about your outlook. But thanks to modern dentistry, there are many existing solutions that can alleviate your pain and discomfort while also restoring your smile to a healthier state! Here is a closer look at root canal therapy and tooth extractions, two treatment options that patients sometimes turn towards to address their painful oral issues.
What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal is a common dental treatment for a tooth with an infected or inflamed pulp, which is typically the result of a deep cavity or trauma. In popular culture, root canal therapy is notorious for being scary and painful—but this is far from the truth! There is often very little pain associated with the procedure, and it can be used to treat things including tooth pain, swollen gums, bumps on the gums, cracked or abscessed teeth and more!
After a preliminary exam and X-rays, your dentist will provide anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding area before getting to work. A hole is drilled into the top of your tooth and the infected pulp is then cleared out. Then your dentist cleans up the inside of your tooth before filling and sealing it, so it’s closed off from infection. This process can usually be completed in a single appointment, with a follow-up appointment often necessary afterwards to place a dental crown.
What Occurs During a Tooth Extraction?
Since modern dentistry emphasizes a conservative approach, tooth extraction is often used as a last resort if the affected tooth cannot be salvaged. Sometimes a tooth can become infected at the roots, creating the possibility for the infection to spread and jeopardize your oral health. The affected tooth can be extracted to eliminate the problem and alleviate pain or discomfort.
The procedure is relatively straightforward; if the tooth is visible and ready for extraction, it’s first loosened and then removed using forceps. If the tooth is below the gums, it will need surgical removal. In any case, your dentist will numb the affected area and ensure that the process isn’t painful for you.
Which Treatment Option Is Better?
Even though both treatments have their respective uses, your dentist will determine which, if either, is appropriate for you. That said, root canal therapy is preferrable in most cases, as it saves your natural tooth! Even though tooth extractions have their own benefits, it will inevitably lead to a gap in your smile that must also be address before additional problems can develop. For this reason, root canal therapy is often suggested over total extraction.
No matter the cause, a damaged or infected tooth needs to be addressed immediately! Knowing what your options are and how each treatment works can go a long way towards ensuring that you don’t hesitate and promptly get your mouth the help it needs.
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee received his dental doctorate from The Ohio State University and completed a four-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. His practice is proud to serve patients in both the Cambridge and the Marietta communities, offering a wide range of services including teeth extractions! To schedule a visit, please reach out through Dr. Lee’s website or by phone: (740) 236-9392.