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Root Canal Therapy vs. Tooth Extraction

by Everett E. Heringer, DDS
January 22nd, 2019
Shutterstock 737911069
Shutterstock 737911069

Tooth decay is the most common form of dental damage. If tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to further dental complications, such as an infection. A tooth infection, or root canal infection, can develop when bacteria works its way into damaged tooth enamel and reaches the sensitive nerves and tissues that make up the pulp of the tooth.

A root canal infection seriously compromises the health and strength of the tooth, and can lead to significant discomfort. Fortunately, most cases of root canal infection can be effectively treated with root canal therapy, which eliminates infection while saving some of the tooth’s natural structure.

Dr. Everett E. Heringer evaluates the dental needs of each patient and helps determine whether root canal therapy or tooth extraction is the most appropriate treatment option for each unique situation. Contact our Bismarck, ND dental practice to schedule your appointment with us.

When to Consider Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is the most recommended treatment for root canal infection. As long as there is still some healthy tooth structure remaining, root canal therapy can treat infection and save the natural tooth and its root system.

During root canal therapy, all infected tissues are removed from the center of the tooth. After damaged material has been eliminated, special dental tools are used to clean down the length of the tooth’s root canals.

It is important that all traces of infection are removed before the tooth is restored. When cleaning is complete, a rubber-like compound fills in the center of the tooth.

For added strength and protection, the treated tooth should also be fitted with a dental crown.

Benefits of Root Canal Therapy

Every part of the tooth plays an important role. The roots of a tooth provide support to the crown of the tooth, and also stimulate the jawbone so that bone tissues are regularly regenerated.

Root canal therapy eliminates infection so that the tooth’s important root system can be preserved. This helps prevent the loss of healthy bone tissues, while also restoring a full set of oral functions.

When to Consider Tooth Extraction

Whenever possible, it is best to save at least some of the tooth’s natural structure, so tooth extraction is generally only considered as a last resort. Dr. Heringer may recommend tooth extraction only if he does not believe it can be saved by root canal therapy. This may be the case if a significant amount of the tooth structure has been damaged or if the tooth’s roots are no longer viable.

Benefits of Tooth Extraction

An infected tooth can damage adjacent teeth and may even cause bacteria to work its way into the blood, which can lead to further health problems. Tooth extraction helps to stop infection before it can spread, and minimizes the risk to other teeth and oral tissues.

Following tooth extraction, patients can have a dental restoration placed to rebuild their smile and restore its health, functions, and aesthetics.

Learn More

If you suspect that you are suffering from a root canal infection, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Contact our dental practice to learn more about root canal treatment options.

Dr. Everett E. Heringer can recommend a treatment plan that will effectively eliminate infection and restore oral health and functions. Call (701) 255-4850 to schedule an appointment.

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Everett E. Heringer, DDS

Bismarck's Center for Laser and Cosmetic Dentistry

Bismarck, ND

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