If you are concerned about potentially needing a tooth extraction, then you may be interested in knowing that there are several alternatives to this method of treatment.
Root canals are the most popular form of treatment when one is trying to avoid tooth extraction. The root canal houses the blood vessels and nerves of a tooth in the soft center that is also known as the pulp. Sometimes the pulp of a tooth can become damaged or the nerve of the tooth can become infected. When this occurs, a root canal treatment can be done to clean out the interior of the tooth and seal it off to prevent further damage to the affected tooth.
Dental implants can be used when a tooth has been loss due to injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. Dental implants involve a titanium post that is surgically implanted into the gums. Over time this titanium post will incorporate into the bone as it mimics the shape of the root. Once the implant has healed, a crown can be screwed on top. The implant crown is designed to match the color and size of surrounding teeth in order to provide a natural looking appearance. Dental implants have been used for decades and offer a permanent solution to missing teeth.
In some cases, a root canal isn’t enough to fix the full extent of damage done to the root of a tooth. In this scenario, an apicoectomy may be needed. An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure in which the dentist opens up the gum tissue near the tooth and removes any infected or inflamed tissue. Then, a small filling may be placed in order to seal off the end of the root canal. Sutures are also used to help the tissue heal properly. Local anesthetics are administered during this procedure to keep pain at a minimum and the recovery period is described as being quite mild.
Bridges and dentures are always option as well, although they may require additional dental procedures that could affect surrounding healthy teeth. These options should be discussed with a dentist in order to assure you are making the right choice for your dental needs.