Root canals are among the most feared dental procedures in existence. If you’re even considering getting one, there’s a good chance that you haven’t looked forward to going to the dentist in quite some time.
But do you need one? The answer to that question depends on your situation and the extent of your toothache. If your toothache isn’t too severe and it’s not affecting any other teeth, you may be able to save money and time by opting for one of these three alternatives to root canals!
Direct pulp capping
This treatment is used when the tooth’s nerve has been exposed, but there is not enough damage to warrant a root canal. The dentist will clean the area and place a medicated material over the exposed pulp. A direct pulp cap can sometimes be used to save a tooth that would otherwise need a root canal.
This treatment can also be used if you have recently fractured a tooth or have an advanced cavity, which could expose and damage some or all of your tooth’s pulp. The material used in direct pulp capping can be placed over damaged areas before they begin to heal and close off, helping control further damage.
These caps can save teeth in many cases rather than a root canal. A direct pulp cap will generally last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on your dental hygiene routine and how hard you grind your teeth at night. You may need another cap placed on top of it and another cleaning, so bacteria doesn’t grow underneath again.
A pulpotomy is a dental procedure used to remove the pulp, or soft tissue, from the crown of a tooth. The pulp is removed through a small hole drilled in the tooth. This is usually done to save the tooth from extraction.
A pulpotomy can be used to treat an infection or decay that has reached the pulp. It can also be used to prepare a tooth for a crown. A pulpotomy is typically less expensive and less invasive than a root canal, and it can be completed in one or two visits to the dentist.
To remove a tooth’s pulp, your dentist will numb your tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic. Depending on how much is removed, your dentist will drill into your tooth. Here, they will remove some or all of its pulp using specialized dental instruments.
After removing what needs to be removed, your dentist may fill in any holes created to prevent infection from entering through them. A pulpotomy can take anywhere from one hour to several hours, depending on how extensive it is.
Many people fear going to the dentist, but sometimes tooth extractions are necessary. If you have a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged, your dentist may recommend an extraction. Don’t worry, though—the procedure is usually quick and painless. Your dentist will numb the area around your tooth and then use special tools to remove it.
You may feel some pressure during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. Once your tooth has been removed, your dentist will provide instructions on caring for the area and managing discomfort.
As you can see, there are many options with dentistry, and there may be ways to save your teeth and to save you money in the process. It all really depends on the situation. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.