By Dr. Jason Abel from Your Dental Health Resource

A root canal is a procedure in which a tooth damaged by decay, infection, or trauma is restored. During a root canal, the chamber of your tooth—which houses the tooth’s blood supply and nerves—is cleaned out and sealed with a biocompatible material, allowing you to keep your natural tooth and avoid an extraction.

While root canal therapy is considered a safe and effective way to retain a tooth that would otherwise need to be removed, some people want to consider all their options before making a decision. You have a few possibilities when it comes to alternatives to root canal treatment!


In the majority of cases, if you forgo a root canal, you will eventually need to have your tooth extracted. When root canal therapy is necessary, the tooth is damaged to the point that it is no longer alive. Without a root canal, the tooth will continue to deteriorate and will need to be pulled.

Once your tooth is pulled, you’ll need to consider replacement options so that the rest of your teeth won’t shift in its place to fill the gap. Your replacement options could include a dental implant, which is considered the most secure restoration, a dental bridge, or partial dentures.

Whichever you choose is all about your personal preference and your candidacy for these procedures [1].

Ozone Gas Therapy

When the inner tissue of your tooth is affected by trauma, decay, or infection, you may have the option of pursuing ozone gas therapy to clean the chamber of the tooth. Research shows that ozone gas therapy can reduce bacteria in an infected tooth that would otherwise need a root canal [2].

The gas will help clean the tubules—tiny channels that extend from underneath the tooth
enamel to the inner chamber—where bacteria can travel. The gas will penetrate further than your dentist can reach, and while this therapy is unlikely to save your tooth or restore it to its original state, it may delay the need for you to make an immediate decision about extracting your tooth.

Calcium Hydroxide

If you’re looking for alternatives to root canal therapy, you may have the option of cleaning out the tooth chamber with a calcium hydroxide solution. This solution has been shown to help remove dead tissue from inside the tooth and reduce bacteria growth [3]. The procedure will need to be done by an experienced dentist or endodontist—a specialist at saving teeth—for the best results.

Again, while this therapy may be available to you, it’s unlikely to permanently restore your
tooth, although it may help reduce bacteria growth and decrease your discomfort while you’re making a decision about your tooth.

The Choice Is Yours!

You have alternatives when it comes to root canal therapy, although your affected tooth will most likely require an extraction at some point. If you’re looking for other options to save your tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist or endodontist today to find out more about your candidacy for these procedures!



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Source: Cornell