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Root Canal or Tooth Extraction? A Dentist in Pensacola Weighs in

February 2, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — drhodges @ 2:40 pm

woman holding her jaw in painOne of the most bothersome types of pain to experience is tooth pain. It’s like the rest of your normal functions are inhibited when your ivories are in a state of crisis. Usually, this is a sign of some form of advanced tooth decay and opens the door to two possibilities of treatment to restore your normal state – a root canal or tooth extraction. Before you make a decision, though, your dentist in Pensacola will weigh in with some helpful information on the root canal process that will make your decision crystal clear.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure that restores your tooth to normal and addresses advanced decay that has gone beyond the enamel and dentin, and has penetrated to the inner area where the nerves are housed inside of the pulp. At this point, the latter is infested with bacteria and there is nothing stopping food particles from entering this very sacred space of your ivory, causing very uncomfortable bouts of pain.

How is a Root Canal Performed?

The root canal procedure is fairly simple, involving the following steps:

  • X-Ray – Before your dentist begins the procedure, he will first order X-Rays to get a complete representation of the decayed area.
  • Anesthesia – The next step in the process is to administer local anesthesia to the affected area, and contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy in Pensacola is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled.
  • Pulpectomy – Your dentist will then make an incision into the affected tooth so that he can remove the decayed tissue and clean the area.
  • Filling – The final step is to fill the vacated area with a filling called gutta-percha and seal the tooth with a cement compound.

Why is it Better to Save the Tooth vs Extracting It?

Whenever it’s possible to salvage a tooth, it’s far more favorable than extracting it. The latter leaves you at risk of other problems like:

  • Infection – After the tooth is extracted, it will take time for the tissue to heal. Meanwhile, you will have a semi-exposed area of your gums vulnerable to bacteria. If you smoke or slack on oral hygiene, you could re-infect the area, which defeats the purpose of having the tooth pulled.
  • Shifting of Other Teeth – When a tooth is extracted, you also run the risk of your other teeth shifting because of the lost tension from the missing tooth. The result can be shifting and crooked teeth.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder – The shifting of your teeth due to the absence caused by the extraction, can also lead to a serious problem called TMJ, where you experience popping, clicking and sticking in your jaw. In addition, you could endure bouts of dizziness and ear ringing.

So now that you know that the root canal procedure is the better route to take, the next step is to be proactive. That means that the faster you get to your dentist to be examined, the better your chances are of salvaging your tooth and having it restored. To learn more about the root canal procedure, reach out to your local professional and schedule your appointment today.

About the Author

Dr. Benjamin J. Hodges earned his dental degree from the University of Mississippi at Jackson and went on to practice dentistry there for the next 10 years. He then decided to transition to sunny Pensacola, where he’s been practicing at Benjamin J. Hodges, DMD for the past six years. For more information about his services, just reach out to Dr. Hodges through his website.

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