Teeth are meant to last for a lifetime; however, 120 million Americans are missing at least one. Every tooth is vital for a healthy, functional, and confident smile. Root canal therapy is designed to save severely damaged and infected teeth from needing to be removed later. While an extraction eliminates the issue at the source, the consequences of an incomplete smile will cost you more down the road. Here are a few things you should know about a root canal VS tooth extraction.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canals have a bad reputation for being painful and unsuccessful, but both aren’t true. Thanks to the latest advancements in dentistry, the procedure has over a 95% success rate and is pain free. The treatment is recommended as a preventive step to avoid additional damage or the loss of your tooth by removing its innermost layer. After the pulp is removed, your tooth is sterilized and sealed to prevent reinfection. Often, a crown is placed over the tooth to give it an added layer of protection while also enhancing its appearance and function. If treatment is delayed, a root canal may no longer be an option to save your tooth. Instead, the only solution to restore your oral health will be extracting it.
Consequences of a Missing Tooth
Your oral and general health relies on every tooth. Losing even one can have devastating consequences for your mouth and body. Losing a tooth will cause your jawbone to deteriorate. You can lose up to 25% of its density within the first year, which will progress as more time passes. Eventually, your remaining teeth won’t have the support they need and will shift from their positions, increasing your risk of cavities, gum disease, and additional tooth loss. It can also affect your bite, making it difficult to chew, and may cause jaw pain. Eating certain foods can become more challenging with each tooth you lose, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
To avoid the complications of tooth loss, you’ll have to invest in a prosthetic. A dental bridge is the most traditional method of replacing a tooth, which will last for a few years before needing to be replaced. You can also choose a dental implant, but they cost more than a bridge.
Save Your Smile with a Root Canal
You can avoid unnecessary dental expenses and preserve your natural smile with a root canal. It’s a convenient, effective, and affordable method to rehabilitate your tooth. If you’re concerned about the cost, you can use your dental insurance to lower the amount you’ll pay. Don’t wait until it’s too late to save your tooth with root canal therapy.
About Dr. Clarine Hightower
Dr. Hightower earned her dental degree from the Howard University College of Dentistry and completed an Advanced General Residency. She regularly pursues continuing education to provide the most state-of-the-art services to help her patients achieve their best smiles. If you need a root canal, contact our office today to request an appointment.