When a tooth becomes badly damaged or decayed, the internal structures become compromised and vulnerable to bacteria. When dental damage reaches this point, there are really only two viable options: root canal therapy or tooth extraction. But how do you know which is the right choice for you? There are several different factors to consider when determining the answer to this question. Today, your Castro Valley, CA dentist at Inspire Smiles Dental will discuss these two treatment options and help you determine which one is more appropriate for your situation.

If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, Dr. Farhana Rassiwala – our Castro Valley, CA dentist – can provide root canal therapy or extraction depending on your unique dental needs. Feel free to visit our website to learn how our team at Inspire Smiles can help. To schedule an appointment, call us at 925-833-9500.

Root Canal Therapy: An Overview

To perform root canal therapy, the internal structures of the tooth are accessed through a tiny hole. Next, the inflamed and infected nerves and tissues are removed, and the surfaces are disinfected and scrubbed clean with specialized dental instruments. Once the root canals are cleaned, they will be filled with a flexible dental material to prevent bacteria from invading the space. Finally, a filling or dental crown is placed to complete the procedure.

When is Root Canal Treatment Recommended?

Dr. Rassiwala, your Castro Valley, CA dentist, will recommend root canal therapy any time a damaged tooth has a good long-term prognosis. For example, if there is still plenty of healthy tooth structure intact, then root canal therapy can save your tooth from extraction and restore function to your smile for many, many years. While it is not possible to predict exactly how long a treated tooth will last, it is not uncommon for your repaired tooth to last several decades, if not a lifetime.

Tooth Extraction: An Overview

Let’s face it. “Pulling teeth” is not something most patients look forward to. However, it is important to note that modern advances in dentistry have improved the techniques and methods used to remove teeth. Today, it is a much gentler process. To begin the procedure, Dr. Rassiwala will numb the gums with local anesthesia. Next, the tissue around the tooth will be loosened, and the tooth will be carefully lifted from the socket. If you are planning to replace the tooth with a dental implant, bone grafting material may be placed in the socket at the time of extraction.

When is a Tooth Extraction Recommended?

Generally, tooth extraction is recommended as a last resort option. After all, as dental professionals, we prefer to save natural teeth whenever we can. However, if a tooth is too broken down, saving it is simply not possible, as removing the source of infection actually prevents further issues from affecting the adjacent teeth. Typically, a tooth does not have a good long-term prognosis if it:

  • Is broken off below the gum line
  • Has a vertical root fracture
  • Is severely decayed
  • Has significant bone loss from periodontal disease

To determine if your tooth can be saved, Dr. Rassiwala will perform a thorough assessment of your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. After your consultation, she will discuss your treatment options with you in detail.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Castro Valley, CA Dentist

Don’t wait until a damaged tooth is causing tenderness and pain. Schedule a consultation at Inspire Smiles Dental today to determine your treatment eligibility. Call us at 925-833-9500 or contact us online anytime.

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