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Is a root canal absolutely necessary?


root canals necessary


If a dentist has diagnosed a tooth as dead (necrotic) or dying (irreversible pulpitis) then a root canal is necessary to save the tooth. If the root canal is not done, then the tooth needs to be extracted to prevent infection and pain. It is that simple. But deciding whether or not to do a root canal is a much more complicated decisions. Root canals will last 5-10 years on the average. It can be considerable to replace the tooth with an implant. Implants can last a lifetime and have a much better long term out look. Implants also do not decay or every need root canals.


Are you worried about getting a root canal? How necessary is it to really get a root canal? Most people report that root canal procedures are painless, easy and have a short recovery period. Millions of people receive root canal treatment every year. So it can’t be too bad and it must be needed on some level, right?


Consideratons for getting root canals


Benefits of root canals cannot be denied. But how long do root canals last on the average? Is a root canal worth the money? What happens after you get a root canal? What if the root canal does not work? What alternatives to root canals should be considered? Such as an extraction and replacement with a dental implant or a bridge or denture. Some medical and dental experts argue that there are health concerns with root canals. Others say root canals are safe and a great way to get rid of pain and keep a natural tooth?  You will need to gather all the facts and make an informed treatment decision.


How to decide whether or not to do a root canal?


If your dentist has recommended a root canal, you have a decision to make. Three options are to have the root canal or get dental implants. Or you can pull the tooth and not replace it. But that will lead to teeth shifting, a bad bite and more tooth loss. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Doing nothing will make the problem worse. You will get to the point where the tooth is not repairable at all. Not to mention, you will be in a lot of pain. And you will wish you had not delayed. If you are not sure about what to do, just remove the tooth for now and you may be able to get an implant later.


Can a root canal be avoided?


Deep inside of your teeth, there is a collection of tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. The collection is referred to as pulp. This pulp is what is responsible for life processes and development and growth of teeth. The pulp remains alive in teeth and in fact teeth are living organs and not rigid dead chewing objects. The pulp connects with the other nerves, arteries and veins of the body. In fact, nutrients are delivered to the tooth and waste products are removed from the tooth as in all other parts of the body. If the pulp dies, you will either need to get a root canal or remove the tooth to prevent jaw bone infection. There is a holistic way to remove root canals.


What a Root Canal Does for People


A root canal removes the inflamed or infected pulp deep inside the tooth. The procedure includes cleaning, shaping, filling and sealing the inside of the tooth. It is impossible to remove all the bacteria and dying nerve tissue inside of a tooth. The root of a tooth is porous like a sponge. During a root canal, the nerve canal is sealed. The hope is the bacteria inside the tooth does not grow and ever leak out into the jaw. Usually this will happen after 5-10 years and a root canal just buys time. Sometimes one can get lucky and a root canal can last 15 years or more.

After the procedure, patients must return to the dentist to receive a crown or other restoration for protection. This also restores full functioning of the treated tooth.


A Dental Implant is an Alternative to Root Canal


root canal alternatives


Even after learning about what a root canal does and how it helps people with damaged teeth, many people continue to worry about getting the procedure. This is understandable, and there is an alternative.

Many dentists recommend dental implants instead of root canals. Especially if the tooth in question is severely damaged. This can help prevent additional procedure in case where root canals are not predictable.

A dental implant is one procedure that can take care of the damage. The dentist simply extracts the damaged tooth and replaces it with an artificial tooth root.


Root Canal Vs Dental Implant Video by Dr. Adams


YouTube video


Root Canals are Not Scary or Painful Usually


Most people who shy away from getting a root canal do not know exactly what it does and what the procedure entails. This leads them to being afraid of what may or may not be true. The real concerns with root canals are more about, time, money, health and what happens after you get a root canal. The procedure itself is not too scary.


Is it Better to Get a Root Canal or Implant


Keep reading to learn all about what a root canal is, what it does, and why you may need one. This article also shares an alternative to a root canal that you may not have even thought of, which may ease your worries over the procedure. Dentists are taught in school to save teeth. Most dentists will not recommend extracting a tooth that can be “saved” with a root canal. Is a dental implant an alternative treatment to a root canal? People who need root canals may choose to replace teeth with implants instead of doing root canals once they understand all the risks, treatment options and potential complications.


Implants are Made of Either Non-Metal Zirconia or Titanium



Titanium Dental Implants


Titanium is a gray metal-based dental implant. Titanium has been the gold standard for years, but research has shown titanium slowly corrodes in biological systems and can cause a problem for those who are allergic to metals. Corrosion and breakage can also occur over time with titanium implants.


Zirconia Dental Implants


Zirconia are ceramic based dental implants. They contain no metal, which greatly reduces the risk of allergic reaction. Zirconia implants do not corrode and they are the same color as natural teeth. Research has shown that titanium corrodes in biological systems and can be the cause of developing allergies, sensitivities, immunological issues and implant failure. While many people believe that ceramic is much easier to break, over the years, the dental industry has been able to strengthen the ceramic in such a way that has made them highly durable. This has made it possible for zirconia dental implants to last a lifetime.

When people choose to have dental implants in place of their damaged teeth, they usually do not have to worry about dealing with those particular teeth again. Unlike root canals, dental implants do not get cavities or cause abscesses. This comforts many people because they don’t want to continue having dental procedures because previous ones were ineffective in treating the entire problem.

The best choice may be to simply get dental implants now. If you’ve waited on getting the root canal, the chances that the procedure will save the tooth are much lower. This means the root canal may be ineffective and you may need to have the tooth extracted and get a dental implant anyway.


Zirconia vs Titanium


When choosing to get dental implants, remember that zirconia implants are considerable because they have some advantages over the titanium ones. Zirconia implants are more natural looking, they are not made of metal, they are tooth colored and can last a lifetime.


Titanium implants are the most popular


Many dentists will urge patients to use titanium implants because they are less expensive and most dentists are only trained to do titanium implants. It’s also the first type of dental implants the industry used, so many dentists simply feel comfortable with what has always been used. With all of the advancements in the dental industry, there’s no reason for people to continue getting titanium for their dental implants. The newer, metal-free dental implants were designed to provide more long-term benefits to patients, and people should be able to take advantage of them.  There are certain cases where titanium implants may be a better choice such as areas where the teeth are very small, short or the patient has a severe clenching and grinding issue. Titanium implants are easier to work with in patients who need a full mouth of teeth replaced with implants.


Why not to get a root canal


The pulp can become inflamed or infected if people suffer from tooth decay or tooth cracks and chips. It’s inflammation or infection that causes people pain it teeth. If the pulp becomes infected or severely inflamed, a root canal involves removing the pulp of the tooth, cleaning and filling the roots of a tooth. Once a tooth gets a root canal it is necessary to get a crown to rebuild the top portion of the tooth.


Root canals relieve tooth pain


A root canal is effective in getting rid of pain in a tooth. Of course the pain goes away because there is no longer a nerve in the tooth. When the root canal is complete the tooth is no longer alive and cannot feel pain. The roots are sealed with a rubbery filling material and adhesive cement. Unfortunately because teeth are porous like sponges, it is impossible to get all the bacteria and pulp tissue out during a root canal.


Highly concentrated bacteria and toxins grow inside root canals


The reality is bacteria and fungus in the tooth grow over time and concentrate. Eventually enough bacteria can leak out and infect the bone under the tooth. People can get a painful and threatening bone infection. Many people believe the bacteria and filling material in the root canal can cause health problems when bacteria, fungus, toxins or filler from the root canal leak to other parts of the body.


Can a root canal make you sick?


No one has been able to directly prove that root canals can cause health problems.  Certainly any yucky stuff leaking out of a root canal can do bad stuff. It all depends on the impact bacteria, fungus and root canal fillers can have on a human body. The impact from one person to the next is probably going to be different. And for that matter, the kind of bacteria and fungus are not going to be the same from one root canal to the next.


Are root canals safe video


YouTube video


Root canal teeth are dead


The one common theme is a root canal is a dead part of the body (unlike any other) where bacteria, fungus, toxins and and pathogens can live without any immune system defense. Disease is a complex process and root canals have been done for years. Root canals are probably one of those proceed with caution things. Many people have had root canals and did not get sick. It may be that a root canal can be a risk factor. Or it may be a coincidence that people with root canals get sick with issues that can be blamed on a root canal, but whether the root canal is the cause is debatable but cannot be proven.


Are root canals painful?


Most patients report a root canal is not painful. This is due to modern technologies available to make the procedure much less intensive than it used to be a decade or more ago.

After the procedure, patients report the treated tooth is sensitive and may still be painful, but no more than what they felt before the procedure. It can take a couple of days for the pain to subside as it finishes healing.

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