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Hello this is Dr. Bryan bringing you another edition of Your Tooth Truth. This week will discuss an age old question that plagued the Romans and still haunts us today! If a tooth goes rotten what should you do? Tooth pain all night long? Cold or Hot water makes your eyebrows try to jump off your forehead? It sounds like you need a root canal or an extraction so How do you decide what to do? Well here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Your own tooth is better than an implant Nothing beats what God gave you. If you can save a tooth with a procedure like a root canal this should always be the first choice.
  2. Root canals are successful Root canals are very successful. The vast majority of the time cleaning a tooth out and removing the infected soft tissue in the center of the tooth called pulp will leave you with a healthy situation that may never need any additional work. Most times these teeth benefit greatly from having a cap put on them after this procedure. Like most things in life besides taxes and death nothing is for sure and root canals can fail.
  3. Root canals can fail If a root canal fails your dentist or pain will let you know. When this happens you can either re do the root canal, do a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy to try and salvage the tooth or extract the tooth.
  4. If the tooth can not be saved with a good prognosis then you can do Hero Dontics or extract When looking at the three choices if the outlook is not good for retreating the tooth and the risks vs benefits of an apicoectomy are poor then the tooth can be extracted or you can have your dentist try and be a hero and save the tooth. This will likely just be delaying the day of reckoning
  5. Immediate implant vs extraction and wait If the tooth needs to come out many times an implant can be placed immediately. Every situation has a list of pros and cons so please see your dentist or oral surgeon to discuss. If you are looking for an oral surgeon is a great place to start Summary

A tooth ache is one of the worst pains a person can endure. This may mean that you have a tooth that requires an extraction or a root canal. Making that decision is important and will impact on your oral health and overall health and hopefully the discussed information will help you make your decision.