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Frequently Asked Questions
Root canal treatment, retreatment, or endodontic surgery may all be ways to help you save your tooth. Sometimes, however, a tooth cannot be saved and will need to be extracted and replaced with a prosthetic, or artificial, tooth.
What are the alternatives to endodontic treatment?
What’s involved in placing an implant?
Dental implants provide a good alternative for the natural tooth when it must be extracted. Candidates for implants should have good general and oral health, adequate bone support in the jaw and healthy gum tissues. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or leukemia, may interfere with healing after surgery and prevent successful placement of an implant. Other risk factors for implant placement can include smoking, poor bone quality, long-term use of bisphosphonate medications and low estrogen levels.
Replacing a missing or diseased tooth with an implant has several advantages:
- Natural appearance
- Don’t require dental procedures on neighboring teeth
Though nothing looks, feels or functions exactly like your natural tooth, dental implants are a viable alternative to help you maintain a beautiful smile.
How do I make a choice?
Ultimately, your treatment decision should be based on a strategy you have discussed with your dental team (your dentist, endodontist and/or other specialists), and that you agree is best for your overall health.
What is a dental implant?
Are there any other options?
Who performs the procedures?
Endodontists are dentists with special training in endodontic procedures. They focus on endodontics in their practices because they are specialists. To become specialists, they complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in endodontics. They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex endodontic procedures, including endodontic surgery. Many endodontists have also received additional training in the placement of dental implants and can perform this procedure for patients whose teeth cannot be saved.
Your dentist may have referred you to an endodontic specialist because of a personal concern about your medical conditions, treatment preferences, pain tolerance and/or the overall high quality of your dental care. The endodontist is a valuable partner on your general dentist’s team of trusted caregivers and is no different than medical specialists who provide expert advice for heart, bone or other health problems. Endodontists are uniquely qualified to evaluate whether your tooth can be saved, and which option is best for you.