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Ronald Taylor, DDS, MSD
Tooth Saving Tips
RCT Endodontics

Tooth Saving Tips

Dentists today are doing everything possible to save teeth. But sometimes patients don't understand their options or they feel that having a tooth extracted is the easiest and most economical way to treat the problem.

More than 40 million teeth are extracted every year and many of these extractions are unnecessary.

The American Association of Endodontists want the public to know that saving a tooth should always be the first choice for the greatest health and cosmetic results, and offers guidelines for obtaining the best possible dental treatment.

If given a choice between endodontic (root canal) therapy or tooth extraction, always choose endodontic therapy. Dentistry has yet to produce anything that functions as well as a natural tooth.

If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, ask whether endodontic therapy is an option, and if not, why not.

If your dentist says that an endodontic procedure would be very difficult and might fail, ask about referral to an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists with at least two years of advanced training in root canal procedures who limit their practices to endodontics and specialize in difficult cases.

Endodontic treatment most likely will cost more than an extraction. But when a tooth is extracted, it must be replaced to prevent other teeth from shifting and to prevent future periodontal disease (gum disease), if not for cosmetic reasons alone. The cost of the denture, bridge or implant, plus the extraction, often is more than an endodontic procedure that would save the tooth. Most dental insurance plans cover endodontic therapy.

Never choose extraction because you think endodontic therapy will be painful. Modern techniques and effective anesthesia make the treatment virtually painless. Post-procedure discomfort is generally greater with tooth extraction than with root canal treatment.

Never choose an extraction because it's quicker. With modern techniques, most endodontic treatments can be done in one visit. Extraction may be over in moments, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits with your dentist.

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