What is a Root Canal and Is It Safe?

What is root canal?

Root canal is both a location and a procedure. The root canal is the hollow inside of a tooth that is filled with something known as “pulp”. Dental pulp is comprised of a number of things, namely, connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. The procedure, root canal, is when the pulp of the tooth is removed and replaced with non-biological material. This is performed when there is extensive inflammation or infection or the tooth has a large cavity.

First, the tooth pulp is drilled out and removed. The tooth is then cleaned and thoroughly disinfected. The pulp is then replaced with a rubber like material and the tooth is sealed. The sealing can be done with either a filling or a fitted crown. After the procedure, the tooth obviously remains intact from outward appearances, but it is dead, as there is no nerve left.

Is a root canal safe?

As with any procedure, there can be complications after a root canal. Some dentists will argue that leaving a dead tooth in the mouth can have adverse effects on a patient’s overall health. Holistic dentists do not subscribe to root canal as a viable option for patients with severely infected or damaged teeth.

A holistic dentist often feels that a tooth extraction (read about tooth extraction San Diego services) is best, rather than leave the offending tooth it in place. If the tooth is infected, and there is an underlying abscess, the implications of leaving the tooth in the mouth may not be the healthiest solution. You want to be sure that all the infection is removed and cannot spread to other parts of the body. Large doses of antibiotics are also not in line with the holistic way of practicing medicine. Removing the decayed tooth is the only way to be sure there will be no lasting bacterial issues. Ask yourself this question, “Is saving one tooth worth jeopardizing the whole body?”

Are there other options besides extraction?

Typically, if the tooth is so far gone that root canal is offered, it is probably too far along to save. However, biological dentists feel that, too often, root canal is suggested because the doctor has no other avenues available and cannot find the true problem. An exhaustive diagnostic work up should be completed before making the decision to go forward with root canal or, preferably, extraction.

So, yes, there are options, but only if the tooth and underlying tissues are not invasively affected. In the case where they are, then extraction is the best option.

Before making any decision, whether it is root canal or extraction, be sure to have a discussion with your dentist, and do not be afraid to seek a second opinion if you have any lingering doubts. You must feel completely at ease with any decision you make that has a lasting impact on your health.

More at the Holistic Dentist’s Website.

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