Tooth Saving Tips
Patients today have more options than ever before to treat their teeth. Understanding your choices and the impact they can have on your future dental health is important. Read on to learn why nothing is as good as your natural tooth and gain 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 dental work
Tips for Saving Your Teeth
- If you are given a choice between root canal treatment or tooth extraction, always choose root canal treatment. No denture, bridge or implant will look, feel and function as well as a natural tooth.
- If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, ask whether root canal treatment is an option.
- If your dentist says that an endodontic procedure is not an option, ask why, and request a referral to an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving teeth, and have at least two years of advanced training in root canal procedures. They are experts at diagnosing and relieving tooth pain, and use advanced equipment to treat patients quickly and comfortably. Your dentist probably has partnerships with endodontists in your area already.
What to Avoid
Never choose extraction 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, often is higher than the cost of an endodontic procedure that would save the tooth for years to come. Most dental insurance plans cover endodontic treatment.
Never choose extraction because you think root canal treatment will be painful! Modern techniques and effective anesthesia make root canal treatment virtually painless. In fact, discomfort after the extraction procedure is generally greater with a root canal. Patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” versus patients that have had an extraction.
Never choose extraction because you think it will be quicker! Endodontic treatments generally require one visit lasting less than an hour. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits with your dentist.