Hello, I am Dr. David C. Montz of Montz and Maher Dental Group. When a tooth’s nerve and the pulp becomes infected, a dentist and patient must make a choice of whether to attempt to save the tooth by executing a root canal or to extract the tooth.
There are several factors that affect this decision. These include whether there is an infection in the surrounding bone, the amount and condition of the remaining tooth structure, the strength of the supporting bone, and the presence of gum disease.
In a root canal (endodontic) procedure, the dentist removes the nerve and pulp of the tooth. This tissue contains veins, arteries, and lymph vessels. The dentist or endodontist uses files of various sizes to clean out the canals. Once the roots are cleaned out and widened, they are filled with a special rubber material that seals them off.
The root canal is the first step in the complete tooth restoration. After the root canal, without a crown, the tooth will probably become dry and brittle. The final steps are the core build-up and crown placement. A strong, natural-looking crown protects the remaining tooth and functions like a natural tooth.
A root canal is typically the most conservative treatment when a root is infected or a tooth has extreme decay or damage. Endodontic treatment has a very high success rate.
But there is always a slight possibility that a tooth with a root canal can have complications down the road. If there was a tiny crack in the treated tooth, it can become re-infected. A tooth with curved roots can be more difficult to fill and they can also become re-infected. Occasionally, the tip of a file can break off in a root during the procedure and cause problems.
Due to the slight risk of failure, some patients question whether they should just get a tooth implant in the first place. This is not a black and white decision. Like root canals, dental implants have a high success rate. But there are risks with dental implants, as well.
If you have been told that a root canal or a dental implant is needed, talk with your dentist about the pros and cons of each procedure. If you do not currently have a dentist, I invite you to schedule a consultation at Montz and Maher Dental Group. You can count on David C. Montz for important, unbiased information so you can make an informed decision about your dental treatment.
Contact Montz and Maher Dental Group:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):