As you age, there’s a good chance that at least one of your teeth will become damaged or infected. If this is the case, the unfortunate reality is that you’ll need to have a procedure performed on the tooth. Two of the most common dental procedures for damaged teeth are extractions and root canals. However, the two procedures are quite different, and you should be well prepared before making your decision.
If your damaged tooth cannot be saved, then you will likely require a tooth extraction. If you have a cavity that is too large to repair or compromises a majority of your tooth’s structure, then there is no point trying to save the tooth. The tooth is already too weak, and repairing it will be impossible. Extraction may also be necessary if you’ve severely fractured your tooth to the point that the crack extends below the gum line.
If you must have a tooth extracted, your dentist will first numb the area. Once numb, your dentist will begin loosening the tooth. Once sufficiently loose, your dentist will extract the tooth with forceps. There will now be a decently sized hole where your tooth once existed, which your dentist will stuff with gauze to help stop the blood flow. You can expect to suffer from light bleeding for up to 24 hours after the procedure, and it normally takes at least two weeks for the extraction site to properly heal.
If your dentist recommends a root canal, you’re in luck! This means your tooth can be saved. If your tooth simply has damaged or diseased pulp, there’s a good chance your Long Island dentist will attempt to save the tooth. Pulp typically becomes damaged when you crack your tooth, or when a cavity develops deep within your tooth.
If you do not treat a tooth that is in need of a root canal, you are only jeopardizing the tooth’s health in the long run. Bacteria is attacking the pulp within your tooth, which will eventually cause a painful infection or swelling.
The procedure for a root canal is much simpler than the procedure for an extraction. Your dentist will first numb the area, and then make an opening in the affected tooth. Once inside, he’ll remove the infected pulp. Your dentist will then thoroughly clean the area where the pulp once existed. Once clean, your dentist will refill the area, and then possibly place a crown on top of the tooth.
Talk With Your Long Island Dentist
Before choosing, your dentist should be able to outline the pros and cons of each procedure, and how they specifically relate to you. Your dentist should be able to describe in detail which procedure is best for your situation, and why. It’s also recommended that you speak up! If you have any concerns about the procedures, please discuss them with your dentist beforehand.