When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected due to trauma, decay or dental disease, root canal therapy is usually the recommended procedure to save the tooth, rather than removing it. By having root canal treatment, the tooth can continue to serve as a vital function to the body by remaining in its original position, supporting the bone structure and opposing bite forces in the mouth. It is best to save a tooth because natural teeth are almost always stronger and more aesthetically pleasing than artificial teeth. Root canal treatment has a success rate of 95 percent, and the restored tooth can last a lifetime. If a tooth must be removed, the space is typically filled with a replacement tooth via a dental bridge or implant. However, if the tooth is removed and not replaced, the neighboring teeth may shift in the mouth, which can cause even more problems by making them crooked or crowded.
During a root canal procedure, a small opening is made in the crown of the tooth so the infected nerve and tissues can be removed and the roots of the teeth can be disinfected and sealed. Following a root canal procedure, the tooth is no longer alive and is restored with a crown to protect it from breakage.
In some cases, our dentists may recommend that a root canal specialist, or endodontist, perform the root canal procedure. We then work closely with the endodontist to coordinate placement of a dental crown following the root canal treatment.
Once a tooth needs a root canal, you only have two choices: a root canal or an extraction. A tooth will never heal on its own, and usually the longer you wait, the worse the situation becomes. The infection will grow, making the whole situation more painful. It could spread to adjacent teeth, and if left untreated, can be life-threatening. Prevention is the key. Don’t wait until you have pain or a problem to schedule a dental examination at Don Harvey Dental. Please call Dr. Harvey and Dr. Choy today if you would like to learn more about receiving a root canal in Alpharetta, Georgia.