4 Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment

Posted on: 21 January 2020

A root canal procedure can save a badly infected tooth, and it can save you from having to go through a lot of pain and suffering. Once completed, a successful root canal ensures that you can continue to use the affected tooth. However, if this dental treatment doesn't appeal to you for some reason, there are other alternatives. It's important that you understand the differences between them.

Are you unsure of whether a root canal is the way to go? Then the following alternatives will help you to decide whether something else might be better for you.

1. Extraction

The cheapest alternative to root canal therapy is extraction. However, despite what you might have heard, extraction can be more traumatic than root canal therapy, especially if the tooth in question is in very poor condition. Not only that, but you'll also be left without a tooth. When you remove a tooth from the jawbone, your body will then also remove the bone that held that tooth in place.

In short, while extraction might be cheaper, it will change your facial structure and make eating more difficult.

2. Extraction Followed by Dental Implant

You could extract your infected tooth and then have it replaced with a dental implant. A dental implant consists of a titanium screw, which is placed into your jaw, and a porcelain crown. Bear in mind, however, it will be months before you can comfortably chew on your new dental implant, as your bone needs to heal first. However, a dental implant will conserve your facial structure.

3. Extraction Followed by Bridge or Denture

If a dental implant is too expensive or time consuming, another option is a bridge. A bridge consists of a fake tooth, which sits over the extraction site, and a dental crown that affixes onto an adjacent healthy tooth. However, this method requires one or more of your healthy teeth adjacent to the extraction site to be altered to make room for the crown.

4. A Large Filling

Although a large filling is possible, not many dentists will agree to do it. This is because large fillings fail much more easily than smaller fillings. A large filling places much more strain on the tooth it sits inside, and it could cause the tooth to break in half whilst you are chewing.

As you can see, there are several alternatives to root canal treatment. However, speak to your dentist before you make your decision. Despite its name, root canal therapy can allow you to continue using a tooth, even after a bad infection.