A root canal can help to save a severely damaged tooth by removing the pulp material so that it cannot become infected or to eliminate an active infection. However, for a number of reasons, root canals may not be feasible in all cases. When a root canal is not appropriate, the patient likely will need to undergo a tooth extraction on the damaged tooth.
Although it’s preferable to keep a biological tooth whenever possible, when tooth extraction is unavoidable, it’s important for patients to begin thinking about a replacement tooth as soon as possible. Delaying this aspect of treatment may limit your options in terms of interventions.
Patients who desire a structurally complete replacement tooth should consult with an oral surgeon about dental implants.
These devices are small titanium cylinders that are biocompatible. That is, the bone material in the jaw is capable of forming a permanent bond with the titanium. After the oral surgeon places the implant in the jaw and the osseointegration process is complete, the implant is able to function like a biological tooth’s root.
These structural qualities of dental implants hold a number of advantages over alternatives, such as a dental bridge, which lack any sort of physical link between the appliance and the jaw. The implant helps to stabilize the jawbone and prevent its erosion over time. In contrast, the bone underneath a dental bridge will wear away as the years pass because there is no root-like structure to anchor it in place.
Dental implants also have minimal impact on surrounding teeth, which is not true of dental bridges and the crowns that must be placed on adjoining teeth as part of that appliance. The process of placing a crown on a healthy tooth can weaken that tooth and make it more susceptible to problems down the line.
If you have been told that a root canal is not possible, contact our office to set up a time to speak to one of our experienced oral surgeons about dental implants. This can be a good treatment option if you are facing a tooth extraction.