When a tooth is badly infected, the most common method of treating the infection is with a root canal. However, a root canal isn’t necessarily the best choice of treatment. There are alternatives to a root canal that are better for the tooth and for your oral health.
A Root Canal isn’t Always the Best Option
In a root canal, the inner pulp of an infected tooth is removed and replaced with a sterile dental filler material. This eliminates the infection and saves the tooth so that it doesn’t have to be removed. Common reasons why a root canal might be needed include advanced tooth decay, gum disease, and traumatic injury to a tooth.
While a root canal is a common way to treat advanced tooth damage or decay, it is not necessarily the best option to fix these problems. For instance, if the nerve of the tooth isn’t affected, then performing a root canal is overtreating the problem. If the root of the tooth is intact and not infected or damaged, it can still be saved; a root canal isn’t necessary.
What are the Alternatives to a Root Canal?
Every patient is different. Sometimes, the patient is better served with a different treatment option than root canal therapy.
At Holistic Dentistry, we adopt an approach that involves an initial treatment, followed by a waiting period. Initially, we’ll remove the damaged pulp from the tooth, and then pack the empty tooth chamber with an herbal filling. The patient then has a follow-up appointment around three weeks later. If they have no more pain at that point, it means the nerve inside the tooth hasn’t been affected. We can then place an onlay over the tooth to finish off the treatment.
A root canal is only necessary if the patient is still in pain. This discomfort means the nerve of the tooth is affected and must be removed.
Holistic Dentistry Offers Natural Options
At Holistic Dentistry, we avoid overperforming root canals, because we believe it is always better to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. We perform endodontic care only when it is necessary to save the tooth.
The most common sign of a badly infected or damaged tooth is pain. If you have a toothache, call Holistic Dentistry at 212-732-2200 to make an appointment.