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South Mountain Endodontics
Chad K. Molen, DDS, Certified, University-trained Endodontist
Tooth extraction or root canal? Read these important tips before choosing a treatment.
Saving your teeth provides the greatest dental and cosmetic results, protects your overall dental health and saves you money and time. Extraction may seem economical and quick, but in the long run can be costly. More than 40 million teeth are extracted each year. Many of these extractions are unnecessary. Root canal specialist and Endodontist, Dr. Chad Molen, offers these tips for the greatest overall dental health:
- 1. Root canal or extraction? When given a choice, always choose endodontic therapies. Dentistry has yet to produce a denture, bridge or implant that functions as well as a natural tooth.
- 2. Teeth which were once thought unsavable are now restorable with proper endodontic tooth-saving techniques. Endodontists specialize in, and their practices are limited to, root canals, reatreatments, apicoectomies, pulpotomies, pulpectomies and all other root canal related therapies. This allows them to perfect the techniques used in saving your teeth and increases the success rate of such treatments.
- 3. The cost of endodontic therapy in the long term, pales in comparison to additional expenses that can accrue if complications arise due to extraction.
Complications that can occur as a result of extraction:
- (a) Bone loss ALWAYS occurs with extraction. This can lead to loosening and loss of subsequent teeth.
- (b) After extraction, an unfilled space puts remaining teeth at risk of shifting. Shifting teeth will affect your smile and can cause TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), creating the need for more dental and medical therapies. Implantation, dentures, or bridges can alleviate some of these concerns, while at the same time increasing your out-of-pocket expenses. Combined, an extraction, replacement of the tooth, and TMD therapy is more expensive than a single root canal, retreatment or apicoectomy.
Other associated risks of extraction and replacement include: infection, implant failure, allergic reactions and rejection.
- (c) Extracted teeth put you at greater risk for peridontal (gum and bone) disease, creating more reservoirs for bacteria to settle and thrive, leaving you with chronic halitosis (bad breath) and the risk for bacterial metastatic infections.
You can avoid these additional complications and costs by seeking a second opinion from an endodontist. There is a time and place for extractions, implants, dentures and bridges, but your first choice should be to save your natural teeth whenever possible.
- 4. Never choose extraction because you think endodontic therapy will be painful. Modern techniques and effective tooth preparations make the treatment virtually painless. Post-procedure discomfort is generally greater with tooth extraction than root canal treatment.
- 5. Never choose extraction because it is "quick." Most root canal therapies require one visit lasting approximately one hour. Surgical therapies require slightly more time, but extraction may require anesthetic and multiple follow-up visits to replace the missing tooth and/or treatment of complications.
The majority of dental insurance plans cover endodontic treatments -- root canals, retreatments, apicoectomies, pulpectomies and pulpotomies. Call us today at South Mountain Endodontics,
Compliments of Dr. Chad Molen
South Mountain Endodontics
12226 South 1000 East, Suite 7, Draper, Utah 84020