COVID-19 and its social and economic effects have made 2020 and the beginning of 2021 extraordinarily difficult in many ways. For some of us, it has moved the impact of our daily health routines to the front of our minds. For those with injured, damaged or infected teeth, understanding the urgency of receiving timely endodontic treatment can be of critical importance.
Each May, the American Association of Endodontists focuses on promoting the importance of saving natural teeth. This year’s theme is “Worth Saving!” and as you’ll soon see, there are plenty of reasons to consider root canals or other types of endodontic treatment your first choice for treating your dental problem.
Your Natural Teeth ARE Worth Saving – Here’s Why
- The consequences of losing your tooth or having it extracted can be serious. Your mouth is designed to operate with a full set of natural teeth. Remove one (or more), and the remaining teeth will shift, impacting both the appearance of your smile and your ability to chew.
- The cost of replacing your natural tooth with an artificial one can be substantial. Sometimes a dental implant is the best choice when your natural tooth simply is beyond repair. However, implants can be costly, and while the implant is healing, you may not be able to use that tooth as you normally would.
- Endodontists have extra training and specialized experience in saving teeth. Your general dentist likely has a close partnership with one or more endodontists, upon whom they can rely if one of your natural teeth is endangered. The entire focus of endodontic treatment is saving natural teeth. Endodontists receive two to three years of additional training after becoming a dentist, and once they are in practice, they may perform an average of 25 root canals per week (versus two per week for general dentists).
- Modern root canals and other endodontic treatments effectively relieve pain. Patient perceptions of root canals are changing; in the last generation, improvements in pain management and endodontic technique have greatly reduced postoperative discomfort for root canals. If you come into a root canal with a severely infected tooth, it’s likely the procedure will completely eliminate your pain after a brief recovery period.
“Our job as endodontists is to preserve your natural teeth,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “From root canals to retreatments to apicoectomies and more, we have a broad range of options to bring your teeth back to full functioning.”
Dr. Susan L. Wood, who works with Dr. Allen at the practice, says, “Your natural teeth are designed to normally function in your mouth flawlessly. Endodontic treatments keep that part of your body secure and working well, giving it the best chance of doing the job it was created to do for the rest of your life.”