When a tooth’s nerve and pulp becomes infected, The Plano Dentist must decide on the best course of treatment. It usually comes down to try saving the tooth with a root canal, or to extract it.
There are several factors that go in to making the decision. These include whether there is an infection in the surrounding bone, the amount and condition of the remaining tooth structure, the strength of the supporting bone, and the presence of gum disease.
During a root canal, the nerve and pulp of the tooth are removed. This tissue contains veins, arteries, and lymph vessels. We use files of various sizes to clean out the canals. Once the roots are cleaned out and widened, they are filled with a special rubber material that seals them off.
A root canal is the first step in the complete tooth restoration. After the root canal, without a crown, the tooth will probably become dry and brittle. The final steps are the core build-up and crown placement. This protects what’s left of the tooth and allows normal function.
Root canals have a very high success rate. But there is always a chance that the treated tooth will have complications. If there was a tiny crack in it, it can become re-infected. A tooth with curved roots can be more difficult to fill and they can also become re-infected. Occasionally, the tip of a file can break off in a root during the procedure and cause problems.
Due to the slight risk of failure, some patients question whether they should just have the tooth pulled, and replaced with a dental implant. This is not a black and white decision. Like root canals, dental implants have a high success rate. But there are risks with dental implants, as well.
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