Nearly 100 years ago, a dentist by the name of Weston Price promoted the extraction of teeth due to an abscess or infection over a root canal procedure. Since then, his research and theory regarding tooth extraction has been widely debunked and for various reasons. As a Polaris dentist specializing in restorative dental care, let’s take a look at the myth that Dr. Weston created and why alternative options are a much safer and practical route when it comes to oral health care.
Pain and Sensitivity
When tooth pain is present, you may be willing to hunt down a set of pliers and pull the tooth yourself. The nerves in our teeth are extremely sensitive and ongoing tooth pain will have you at your wit’s end. For obvious reasons, don’t do it; an experienced Polaris dentist who has the proper education and training is who you should turn to first.
When tooth nerves are exposed to an infection, or if decay has rotted through the tooth to the nerve, the sensitivity and pain increase. Dr. Weston believed that removing the tooth immediately would instantly solve the pain issue. The problem with this, however, is that without replacing the tooth, the surrounding teeth and jaw structure are affected. This damage thus presents a whole new set of problems.
Why Root Canals Work
A century ago, Dr. Weston’s theory possibly originated as a scheme. It’s possible he was making the same amount of money for both procedures, but the overhead on a root canal put less money in his pocket; who’s to say? What dental professionals now know is that a root canal saves the tooth and the surrounding structure. The procedure removes the decay and infection that is compromising the tooth to prevent further damage. The drilled hole is then cleaned and sterilized, and sealed to prevent new bacteria from entering the canal of the root. A crown is then used to protect the tooth and to provide strength. The result of a root canal procedure is a strong tooth, free of decay and bacteria, and it lasts a lifetime.
Tooth Extraction: A Last Resort
If for any reason a tooth cannot be saved with root canal therapy, then an extraction may be an option. The key to having a tooth removed, however, is to follow through with replacing the old tooth with an artificial tooth. Without a new tooth in its place, existing teeth will move and your bite will be affected. This causes jaw pain and problems chewing which then compromises your nutrition and health.
Dr. Weston was well-known for his contribution to dentistry and for his research. Yet, as with many theories, it is necessary to provide unbiased research and results for them to be widely accepted. In the case of extraction vs. root canal, time has shown that Dr. Weston’s research was wrong. So, if you are experiencing tooth pain, give our Polaris dentist office a call to schedule a root canal appointment or learn more about our services on our Facebook page.