A root canal is one of the dental procedures to repair a tooth without extracting it. This procedure includes removing the pulp (soft center part of a tooth) when a tooth becomes severely damaged or decayed. The pulp can become inflamed when there’s a deep cavity or injury to the tooth. In such cases, root canal treatment is needed to save the tooth and function normally.
When you go for the root canal treatment, the inside part of a tooth is cleaned and disinfected to remove bacteria. Then the root is filled, followed by a crown to help restore the affected tooth.
However, often people wonder about the possible alternatives of the root canal procedure. If you want to learn about alternative treatments for a root canal, you are at the right spot.
Alternatives to root canal treatment
There are many possible alternatives to root canals. Let’s explore those in more detail.
1. Direct pulp capping
Direct pulp capping is used to treat severely damaged or decayed teeth that expose the pulp. In this procedure, a material (calcium hydroxide or mineral trioxide aggregate) is placed directly over the exposed pulp to create a mineral barrier. This will help protect the exposed pulp and aid tissue repair. Once the pulp capping material is applied, the tooth is then filled. Direct pulp capping is only recommended when the exposure is minimal, and when the exposed pulp does not have any signs of inflammation or decay.
A pulpotomy can be done when the pulp has been opened due to tooth decay or damage. During this procedure, the inflamed pulp is removed. A material (calcium hydroxide or mineral trioxide aggregate) is then added to the tooth’s center to improve healing and stop bacterial growth. In adults, this dental procedure is only performed as an emergency procedure to alleviate pain till a root canal can be done.
3. Tooth extraction
Tooth extraction can be recommended in cases of severe tooth decay or damage. Usually, the dentist recommends tooth extraction when a tooth cannot be repaired with treatment like a root canal. Once the tooth is removed, you can have dental implants, a dental bridge, or a removable partial denture to fill the gap in the mouth. Also, artificial teeth will restore the function of the mouth and improve appearance.
But, should you consider a root canal?
Often, the dentist suggests having a root canal treatment as the best possible alternative to save your natural tooth. Undoubtedly, you can discuss the available options for the root canal with your doctor.
However, if a root canal is suggested, your dentist knows that it is the most effective treatment. The dentist will perform the oral examination and assess the tooth’s condition before suggesting the best alternative dental treatment for you.
How to prevent a root canal?
Here are some tips to prevent root canals and other dental issues.
- Brush: Brushing removes plaque from the surface of your teeth. When plaque builds up on teeth, it leads to tooth decay. So, brush your teeth twice a day with proper technique and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss: Plaque usually accumulates in hard-to-reach places like spaces between your teeth. Hence, clean between your teeth regularly by flossing at least once a day.
- Limit some foods: Foods or beverages that contain a lot of sugar make you prone to having tooth decay. Thus, cut back your consumption of candies, cakes, soda, etc.
- Protect your mouth: If you participate in a sport where your mouth may be injured, you must wear a mouth guard as protection for your teeth.
- Regular dental checkups: Visit a dentist for regular checkups and cleanings to prevent oral health issues. Apart from the regular checkups, never lay back to visit the dentist when experiencing a toothache, sensitivity, or discomfort with oral health.
When you follow good oral hygiene practices, you can prevent all sorts of dental issues. So, to avoid a root canal and keep your oral health in good shape, you should follow the above tips.
A root canal treatment is highly recommended to fix a tooth without having to extract it. It is generally performed when the pulp of the tooth has become inflamed or infected. In fact, a root canal is advised to save the natural tooth and treat the dental issue quickly and effectively.
Other dental procedures may be performed as an alternative to a root canal, including pulp capping, pulpotomy, and tooth extractions. Whether or not these dental procedures are appropriate for you all depends on the condition of your tooth.
Therefore, let your dentist suggest the best treatment for your teeth, be it a root canal or other alternative. Once you have the right treatment for your teeth, you can easily enjoy their normal functioning and get rid of pain or discomfort.
TruCare Dentistry offers a wide range of dental care treatments. From root canal to tooth extraction, we can provide the best possible dental care to improve your oral health. We provide personalized dental care for a beautiful and healthy smile. Schedule your appointment with us and improve your dental health.