Comparing Root Canals to the Alternatives

Dental Emergency

It’s 2019, which means that many things have changed, including your insurance policy and coverage. Now is the perfect time for you to get a major procedure, such as a root canal. However, it is important to keep in mind that a root canal can be really expensive. Additionally, your insurance might not cover the entire procedure. Today, there are many popular alternatives to root canals, but keep in mind that they might not all be as effective as they claim to be.

What Is a Root Canal?

If you have a significantly damaged or infected tooth, then a root canal may be the only solution that will help repair your teeth and save them. The damage normally results from trauma, a deep cavity, cracked tooth enamel, or repeated dental treatments, and dentist follow several steps in the procedure to repair damaged teeth.

According to Dr. Bagheri, clinical Associate Professor at New York University College of Dentistry, root canal treatment starts with x-rays and is followed by the damaged section of the tooth pulp being removed using local anesthesia (also referred to as a pulpectomy). Then, the inside of your tooth is cleaned and disinfected. Finally, the tooth is sealed after being filled with gutta-percha material.

When the root canal is done, a filling or crown will restore the tooth to its former glory.

Alternatives to Root Canals

When it comes to root canals, a few alternatives are available. However, it is important to know about each of the alternatives beforehand so that you have a better idea of what will work best for you. The dentist will also help determine which alternative is best.

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The alternatives to root canals are explained below.

Extraction

Known for being one of the most popular alternatives to root canals, extraction is recommended if your insurance does not cover much. In this procedure, the dentist will extract the offending tooth. The dentist may also replace the tooth with a bridge, partial denture, or implant.

The American Association of Endodontists believes that extraction does not compare with the benefits of saving the natural tooth.

Natural Remedies

Food choices considerably impact your overall oral health. Natural remedy proponents believe that there are other ways that can help dental infections heal, such as a specific diet. The process involves the elimination of all types of processed sugars from your diet, avoiding grain products, consuming high-quality protein, and not drinking alcohol.

Now is the time to embrace a much healthier lifestyle. However, eating vegetables and fruits will not restore a cracked tooth or fill a deep dental cavity.

Ozone Gas

Another popular alternative is ozone gas. It helps irrigate the root cavity. Interventional neuroradiologists have researched ozone gas and found that ozone can penetrate deep into the tubules of your teeth, which is beyond the drilled area. This penetration allows the dentist to save more of your tooth because the gas kills bacteria, resulting in a root canal being averted altogether.

Despite what the evidence might suggest about ozone gas disinfecting teeth beneath the enamel, the infection could return later on, and a root canal will be necessary then. However, this alternative could buy you some extra time if you cannot afford a root canal at the moment.

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Calcium Hydroxide

Calcium hydroxide is quite similar to ozone gas. Irrigating with calcium hydroxide helps deter any bacterial growth in your tooth canals. Calcium hydroxide can dissolve any remaining dead tissues because it is an alkaline substance, and it prevents bacterial growth as per the findings of AAE. However, calcium hydroxide is toxic, and it must be carefully placed within the canal using a needle or file.

Conclusion

The cause of the pain is not the root canal but the infected or damaged tooth tissue. Although the above alternatives to a root canal might seem promising, none of them have the potential to offer a long-term solution.

There is a reason why root canal treatments are popular. They enable patients to ensure that their natural teeth are retained, and that they can chew effectively and smile confidently. He only way to avoid the need for root canal treatment is by adopting a healthy oral hygiene lifestyle. Brush your teeth twice daily!

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