What are the alternatives to endodontic treatment?
Endodontic (root canal) procedures are intended to help save your tooth. While it is usually preferable to keep your natural tooth, this may not always be possible. Often, the only alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth. Missing teeth can make you self-conscious, affect your ability to bite and chew, cause other teeth to shift and have a negative impact on your overall health. For these reasons, it is recommended to replace the extracted tooth with an artificial one.
This may be done in one of three ways: a dental implant, a fixed bridge, or a removable partial denture. If your tooth requires extraction, your dentist can help guide you to making the right decision in tooth replacement.
What is a dental implant?
Although nothing looks, feels, or functions exactly like your natural tooth, dental implants are the best option for replacing a missing tooth.
A dental implant is a titanium artificial root placed surgically into your jawbone that is later restored with a porcelain crown.
Dental implants provide a good alternative for the natural tooth when it must be extracted. Replacing a missing or diseased tooth with an implant has several advantages over fixed bridges and removable partial dentures:
- They provide the most natural, cosmetic appearance
- They don’t require dental procedures on neighboring teeth
- They have a relatively high success rate