Tooth Loss and Root Canal Infection
If a root canal infection occurs, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy. This procedure removes infected tissues and restores the health of the tooth. While saving natural teeth is always preferred, there may be times when root canal therapy is not sufficient. In these instances, an extraction may be recommended.
At Dr. James Altomare’s practice serving Skillman, NJ, Montgomery, NJ, Princeton, NJ, and surrounding areas, we offer a wide range of restorative treatments. In this blog post, we explore the link between tooth loss and root canal infection in a little more detail. Finally, we discuss some of the most common teeth replacement options.
What Is a Root Canal Infection?
A root canal infection occurs when bacteria breach the pulp of a tooth. This bacterial invasion may be due to decay, trauma, large fillings, cracks, or chips.
Individuals who develop a root canal infection may experience severe discomfort, sensitivity, swelling, or drainage. The tooth may also become discolored. In some cases, patients may not notice any symptoms. That is why routine exams are so essential. Your dentist can detect any issues before they worsen.
What about Root Canal Therapy?
If the affected tooth has a good long term prognosis, root canal therapy can be performed to eliminate active infection. During this procedure, Dr. Altomare removes the infected nerves, blood vessels, and tissues from the canals and pulp chamber, cleans and disinfects the surfaces, then fills the tooth with a biocompatible material.
While root canal therapy has an impressive success rate of up to 98 percent, it may not be the best option in some cases. For example, there are times when your dentist may recommend an extraction instead of root canal treatment.
When Is an Extraction Recommended?
If a tooth is too weak, decayed, or damaged, then an extraction may be the most predictable longterm option. During a consultation at our practice, Dr. Altomare will visually assess the tooth and take x-rays to determine the extent of damage.
Next, he will talk with you about all of your treatment options, as well as risks and benefits of each. If it is agreed that an extraction is the most appropriate solution, then our team will talk with you about your replacement options.
Teeth Replacement Options
Whenever a tooth is extracted, it should be replaced in a timely manner. This helps ensure that the bite stays the same and that the teeth do not shift. Dr. Altomare offers a number of teeth replacement options at our practice, including:
- Dental implants: These small titanium posts are placed directly in the jawbone. Implants restore missing teeth roots. Once healed, crowns, bridges, or dentures can be attached to restore the health, appearance, and function of your smile.
- Bridges: Consecutive tooth loss leaves a large gap in your smile. A dental bridge is a custom restoration consisting of two dental crowns with prosthetic teeth between them. When bonded into place, bridges complete your bite.
- Full and partial dentures: Severe tooth loss makes chewing and speaking difficult. Dr. Altomare can create partial or full dentures, depending on your specific needs.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you are experiencing tooth pain, or if you have recently had a tooth extracted due to infection, book an appointment with Dr. Altomare to explore your treatment options. Contact us online anytime or give our office a call at (609) 921-1020.