When a patient is told they may need a root canal, one of the most popular questions asked is, “What are the alternatives to a root canal?” For some patients, there is no alternative. However, depending on your oral health and additional dental circumstances, you may explore a different treatment.
What Is A Root Canal?
Sometimes the soft tissue inside the tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected or inflamed. This can occur because of a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or undergoing multiple procedures on a single tooth. During a root canal, the pulp is removed, and the inside of the empty canals are cleaned and disinfected to remove bacteria. Then, the tooth is filled, and a crown will be placed on top to protect the tooth.
Alternative Treatment Options
Depending on your oral health needs, there are several potential alternatives to a root canal.
Direct Pulp Capping
This procedure treats an exposed pulp. Calcium hydroxide or mineral trioxide aggregate is applied to the affected area to help promote dentin repair and keep the pulp healthy. After the pulp capping materials are used, the tooth is filled.
A pulpotomy is done on a tooth that still has blood flow and responds to temperature changes and other sensations. The pulp above the gum line is removed, and a material is placed inside the tooth to help it heal and prevent bacterial growth. Common materials used include calcium hydroxide, formocresol, and mineral trioxide aggregate.
An endodcotist will always recommend making every effort to save the tooth. However, an extraction is an option. You’ll need a replacement tooth to help you bite, chew, prevent teeth from shifting, and maintain your appearance. A dental bridge, partial denture, or dental implant are all viable replacement options.
Root Canal Experts
If you find that these options are possible, our endodontic team can help with a root canal. Contrary to popular belief, root canals do not have to be painful and when done properly, can save your tooth from further decay. If you are dealing with tooth pain and have been told by your dentist that you should explore a root canal, give our Beavercreek or West Chester office a call. We’ll get you scheduled for a consultation where we can discuss endodontic treatment options to save your tooth and get your oral health back on track.