Patients in Hong Kong ask, “Root canal therapy vs. tooth extraction, which option is best?”
If you’ve had a nagging toothache or suddenly are in serious pain, you want it fixed quickly and effectively. Dr. Titania Tong in Hong Kong has helped countless patients address pain with dental treatments that work. She knows that when the decay or trauma to the tooth is serious, patients must weigh the benefits of root canal therapy vs. tooth extraction. Dr. Tong helps her patients understand the need for and benefits of each treatment.
Behind the pain
Patients often think that a sore tooth is caused by tooth decay that will require a filling. However, most cavities are detected through an oral examination or an x-ray and can’t be felt. That’s because the nerves of the tooth are deep inside the tooth. So, when patients feel pain in the tooth, it’s an indication of an infection inside the tooth. This infection could be caused by decay that went undetected and untreated or from trauma to the tooth. Once the infection begins it can cause inflammation, sensitivity, and pain.
Root canals to save the natural tooth
Most patients want to save their natural teeth, rather than undergo an extraction. Not only does a lost tooth impact a patient’s self-confidence, it can also be more expensive and take longer to replace. However, the dentist must determine if a root canal is the best option. First, she will examine your mouth and take x-rays to get a clear view of the infection and damage to the tooth. If a root canal is the best course of treatment, the following steps will be taken:
- A small hole is drilled in the top of the tooth, which provides access to the tooth’s infected pulp.
- The dental pulp is removed, and the area is cleaned and disinfected. Dr. Tong uses non-chemical ozonized water and ozone gas to clear the infection, and prevent it from reoccurring.
- Next, the tooth will be filled using biocompatible material and a cap is placed on top. This is a temporary restoration and will be replaced in the coming weeks with a stronger and more durable dental crown.
The entire root canal process will require several trips to the dentist. However, Dr. Tong and her team work to make it a comfortable experience. Local anesthetic is used to numb the area for treatment and the pain that patients are experiencing prior to the treatment dissipates as soon as the infection is removed. Patients who are experiencing dental anxiety or are fearful of the dentist can be given oral sedation to help ease their fears and make them more comfortable.
Tooth extraction to prevent future health problems
While a root canal can be an effective treatment, it’s not the perfect treatment for every individual. Critics of the root canal procedure remind patients that it is nearly impossible to completely sanitize the interior of the tooth. While you will no longer feel pain due to the nerve being removed along with the pulp, the infection could flare up again. Individuals who are in strong physical health will likely be able to fight the bacteria. However, studies have found links between bacteria in teeth that have been treated with a root canal and health concerns such as cancer; heart, kidney, or brain diseases, and autoimmune or joint disorders.
While patients often want to try to keep their natural tooth, it’s important to understand the implications of a root canal. It’s also important to understand that tooth replacement options have advanced a great deal in recent years. From implants to dentures to bridge and crown appliances, today’s replacement tooth options look and function much like natural teeth.
Dr. Tong and your dental health
Dr. Tong and her team understand that the health of the mouth directly impacts the health of the body. That’s why she’s dedicated to treating the whole patient, only using materials that are completely safe, and performing treatments that are necessary. By taking a holistic approach to dentistry Dr. Tong can help ensure the best oral health and overall wellness for her patients. For more information about root canals, tooth extraction, or how Dr. Tong can best serve your family with other dental treatments, call 852 2810 1801 today.Back to Root Canals Page