Tooth Saving Tips

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Patients today have more options than ever before to treat and preserve their natural teeth. Understanding your choices and their impact on your future dental health and lifestyle is important. Read on to learn why nothing is as good as your natural tooth and get simple tips for saving your teeth!

Preserving a natural tooth through root canal treatment should always be considered as 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, ongoing dental work

Tips for Saving Your Teeth

  1. If you are given a choice between root canal treatment or tooth extraction, it is important that you understand all of your options.  Although dentistry has provided significant advances in replacing teeth, nothing looks, feels and functions as well as a natural tooth.  At Valley Endodontics & Implant Dentistry we will provide you with a thorough examination to determine if preserving your tooth through root canal treatment is the best option or if extracting and replacing your tooth with an implant, bridge or denture is a better option.   We strive to listen to you and thoroughly explain your options so that you may choose the treatment that is best for you.
  2. If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, ask whether root canal treatment is an option.
  3. If your dentist says that a root canal procedure is not an option, ask why, and request a referral to an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in preserving natural teeth and are the best source of information to determine if natural teeth are savable or if extraction of the tooth is indicated.  They are experts at diagnosing and relieving tooth pain, and use advanced equipment to treat patients quickly and comfortably.

What to Avoid

Never choose extraction because you think it will be cheaper! When a natural tooth is extracted, it often needs to 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 significantly higher than the cost of a root canal procedure that would save the tooth for years to come. Most dental insurance plans cover root canal 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 procedure is generally greater with a tooth extraction. Patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had a root canal.

Never choose extraction because you think it will be quicker! Root canal treatments generally require one to two visits. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant with possible additional bone grafting will require several additional visits with your dentist.