Nothing is as good as your natural tooth!
Saving your natural tooth should always be your first choice when dental care is needed. Nothing, not even the most advanced bridges and implants, can truly replace your natural tooth.
If your dentist recommends extracting your tooth, ask if it can be saved with an endodontic procedure, also known as root canal treatment. Endodontic treatment removes the injured pulp (soft inner tissue) of your tooth and fills and seals the space. Your tooth is then restored and can function just like any other tooth for the rest of your life, ensuring comfortable chewing and a natural appearance. Endodontists can often save the most severely injured teeth.
If your tooth cannot be saved — and some cannot — you may consider replacements such as a bridge or dental implant. Your options may depend upon the condition of surrounding teeth and bone structure.
Dental implant procedures can be complex, costly and they often require several visits and several month’s healing time before the procedure can be completed. Do everything possible to save your teeth before considering extraction. Nothing is as good as your natural tooth!
What's Inside a Tooth?
From the outside, a tooth looks like a hard, solid substance. But this cut-away illustration reveals that a tooth is really a complex system of specialized tissues.
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics, from the Greek endo (inside) and odons (tooth), is a specialist sub-field of dentistry that deals with the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. The pulp (containing nerves, arterioles and venules as well as lymphatic tissue and fibrous tissue) can become diseased or injured, and is often unable to repair itself; if it dies, endodontic treatment is required.
Endodontists are dentists who have specialized in this field; qualification as an endodontist typically requires an additional 2-3 years of training following dental school. Many endodontic residents do original research and earn a Master’s degree as well as a speciality certificate. They specialize and limit their practice to root canal therapy and root canal surgery, and use their special training and experience in treating difficult cases that are referred to them by general dentists who opt not to perform these cases, such as teeth with narrow or blocked canals, or unusual anatomy.