405 Frederick Road, Suite 150, Catonsville, MD 21228
Tooth preservation is the ultimate aim of a root canal treatment. But how long should you expect a treated tooth to last? The answer will depend on a few different variables.
A root canal treatment is necessary when a tooth’s pulp — the inner tissue made of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues — becomes infected with disease. As the pulp dies, the infection spreads into the adjacent bone; this can eventually lead to loss of the tooth.
To stop this process, we enter the tooth and remove all of the pulp, disinfect the pulp chamber and the root canals, and then fill the chamber and canals. Depending on the type of tooth and level of decay, we seal the tooth with a filling or install a crown to prevent re-infection. it’s then quite possible for a treated tooth to survive for years, decades, or even a lifetime.
There are a number of factors, though, that may affect its actual longevity. A primary one depends on how early in the disease you receive the root canal treatment. Tooth survival rates are much better if the infection hasn’t spread into the bone. The earlier you’re treated, the better the possible outcome.
Tooth survival also depends on how well and thorough the root canal is performed. It’s imperative to remove diseased tissue and disinfect the interior spaces, followed by filling and sealing. In a related matter, not all teeth are equal in form or function. Front teeth, used primarily for cutting and incurring less chewing force, typically have a single root and are much easier to treat than back teeth. Back teeth, by contrast, have multiple roots and so more root canals to access and treat. A front tooth may not require a crown, but a back tooth invariably will.
These factors, as well as aging (older teeth tend to be more brittle and more susceptible to fracture), all play a role in determining the treated tooth’s survival. But in spite of any negative factors, a root canal treatment is usually the best option for a diseased or damaged tooth. Although there are a number of good options for replacing a lost tooth, you're usually better in the long run if we can preserve your natural tooth for as long as possible.
If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will it Last?”
When a tooth is causing you a problem, one logical solution is to simply remove it from the equation. But tooth extraction is a last case scenario that should only be explored when a tooth cannot be healed through treatment, therapy and daily care. If you're a Catonsville area dental patient who is unsure about whether you need tooth extractions, explore these frequently asked questions about this dental procedure.
Why Does a Tooth Have to Be Extracted?
Extraction is usually necessary when the inner parts of a tooth become decayed and inflamed beyond fixing. A diseased tooth causes intense pain and discomfort that is impossible to ignore. It will become difficult to eat, sleep or even talk. When the tooth is very badly decayed, it becomes a haven for bad bacteria to grow and develop an infection. That infection, if left untreated, can enter the blood stream and cause other problems in the body. If treatment (root canal therapy) can’t eliminate the problem, extraction is the next step.
Your Catonsville dentist might also recommend tooth extractions if your wisdom teeth begin to grow in awkwardly, causing pain, crowding and inflammation.
Will It Hurt?
Are you worried that getting a tooth extracted will be too painful? Sedation dentistry will ensure that you experience minimal discomfort during the appointment. A topical anesthetic, nitrous oxide or oral medication may be administered depending on your level of dental anxiety.
How Long Will It Take to Heal?
You may wonder if getting a tooth extracted will cause you to have to take many days off from work. The truth is that an extraction can be managed with pain medication, and you will be able to return to work soon after your appointment. The entire healing process takes about six weeks before dental implants, conventional dentures or other tooth replacement options can be explored.
Is an Extraction Necessary?
If you’re in pain, don't give up on your tooth so soon—you may go to the dentist and learn that it can be saved with dental treatment. If not, it can be extracted under sedation with little to no discomfort and replaced in the near future. Dr. M. S. Warshanna provides his Catonsville patients with tooth extractions and many other in-demand dental services. Call his office at (410) 747-0077 to schedule an appointment today.