When it comes to dealing with severe tooth damage, esthetic dentistry provides patients with more options to meet both their needs and their preferences. This is especially true when it comes to root canal therapy. Many people fear this treatment because it has a reputation for being lengthy, invasive, painful, and nerve-wracking. While root canal treatment has come a long way and is now more comparable to other types of common dental work, there are still alternatives for patients to consider.
Understanding esthetic dentistry
Just like a traditional or general dentist, an esthetic dentist prioritizes a patient's oral health first. However, these professionals are dedicated to offering more options that keep a person's overall wellness and individual preferences at the forefront of treatment. While many commonly used methods and materials are perfectly safe for most patients, these options can also cause adverse reactions in others.
Esthetic dentistry often focuses on the use of biocompatible materials and procedures. The dentist may test patients to determine which materials elicit an unfavorable immune response and will avoid these when developing a treatment plan. In addition, an esthetic dentist may offer alternatives to traditional dental work, such as amalgam fillings and root canals.
Treating diseased tooth pulp
People should always be mindful of new or sudden pain and swelling in the teeth and gums. While it could be something minor, it could also be a symptom of diseased internal tissue. For some, it may mean root canal treatment is needed.
Causes, signs, and symptoms
When the pulp of a tooth becomes diseased, infected, or inflamed, it can lead to a host of symptoms, including:
- Tooth discoloration
- A loose tooth
This can be the result of numerous problems, including untreated decay or chips and cracks in a tooth. It is important to treat diseased tooth pulp as soon as possible to prevent complications. Otherwise, the tooth may not be salvageable or the infection could enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body.
For years, root canals have been used to remove the diseased pulp, clean the internal canal, and permanently seal the tooth. However, the treatment is sometimes controversial in esthetic dentistry: It can be difficult to completely sterilize the canal using these traditional methods. In addition, some of the chemicals used during the process can cause issues for some patients.
One alternative is to use laser therapy to treat diseased tooth pulp. During this process, the dentist uses a high-powered laser instead of a drill to access and disinfect the diseased area. Lasers are significantly more effective at killing bacteria, offer better precision, and are often far less painful than traditional drilling. In addition, the treatment process is usually significantly faster, making the entire experience less difficult for the patient while still achieving positive results for healthier teeth.
Root canal therapy is widely used to repair and restore teeth with damaged pulp. However, esthetic dentistry offers alternatives that are more appealing and just as effective for many patients. Talk to an esthetic dentist to determine which treatment options are right for you.
Request an appointment or call Barry Jones DDS at 760-201-4087 for an appointment in our Vista office.
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