Is Pulp Capping A Good Alternative To Root Canals? Your #1 St. Louis Dentist Weighs In

21 Sep
Is Pulp Capping A Good Alternative To Root Canals? Your #1 St. Louis Dentist Weighs In

Many patients experience confusion and anxiety when it comes to root canal treatments. This leads many individuals to wonder whether alternatives to root canal treatments exist; the answer is a simple “Yes!” 

At Soulard Family Dentistry, we offer pulp capping in St. Louis, MO, as an alternative to root canals. The most important thing that helps us decide whether you’re suitable for a pulp capping treatment rather than a root canal is your decay level. A root canal is inevitable if your tooth decay has gotten so deep that it’s reached your pulp and perhaps even gone beyond into your tissue.

To that end, our dentist in St. Louis, Dr. Mandefro, will carefully explain what pulp capping is, talk about some differences between pulp capping vs. root canals, and help you understand whether root canal therapy can be avoided.

What Is Pulp Capping?

Pulp capping is an endodontic dental procedure during which a dentist applies a medicated substance to the pulp of your infected or damaged tooth. The substance applied to your tooth can enhance the pulp tissue’s regeneration and healing while protecting your tooth from possible damage or infections.

At Soulard Family Dentistry, we provide pulp capping therapy to the residents of St. Louis as an alternative to root canal therapy. Pulp capping is recommended to protect your dental health by removing the bacteria in your tooth pulp, thereby safeguarding your oral tissue.

Why Do You Need a Pulp Cap Treatment for Dental Restoration?

Adults must take care of their dental health and watch out for symptoms of tooth decay. When tooth decay is treated early on, it makes it easier for your dentist to preserve more of your tooth structure. If tooth decay advances too close to your pulp, a root canal treatment may be the most preferred dental restoration treatment for you.

However, pulp therapy for mature teeth is recommended if the decay has not reached the tooth’s pulp and if your pulp does not show any sign of infection. This is why you must schedule appointments for oral cancer screenings with your dentist at least twice a year.

The primary goal of dental restoration and tooth preservation is to maintain as much of your dental pulp and tooth structure as possible. Our dentist can prevent root canal therapy in St. Louis thanks to a careful diagnosis and minimally invasive procedure that’s referred to as pulp capping. Our pulp cap treatment is established to preserve the strength of your tooth pulp when the decay is almost at the tooth nerve or near the pulp.

What Are the Different Types of Pulp Cap Treatments?

We offer two types of pulp capping procedures in St. Louis and will recommend one depending on your tooth type and level of decay. Most times, our dentist may wait until your tooth decay is resolved before recommending a specific type of pulp cap treatment. Our two types of pulp cap treatment are:

1. Direct Pulp Capping

Direct pulp capping therapy is performed when the healthy pulp becomes completely exposed and easily prone to infection via decay. Our dentist performs direct pulp capping therapy in St. Louis by following certain procedures:

  • Extracting the Decay: Our dentist will first examine the cavity and remove any decayed tooth material. Afterward, the site where the decay was removed will be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Adding Sedative Material: After our dentists in St. Louis have removed all the decay, they will then use a sedative material to safeguard the pulp from your mouth bacteria until it’s certain that your dentin can repair itself.
  • Filling the Cavity: Lastly, a permanent or temporary filling is laid to strengthen the tooth and allow you to bite and chew as usual.

Our dentist provides dental fillings treatment in St. Louis to straighten teeth that are decayed and have deep cavities. Direct pulp capping is recommended for mature teeth that have exposed pulp – according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), direct pulp capping is only recommended for primary teeth whose exposure results from mechanical trauma.

2. Indirect Pulp Capping

Indirect pulp capping therapy is performed when the pulp tissue is not entirely exposed but is close to the surface. Our indirect pulp capping procedure in St. Louis is performed through the following process:

  • Extracting the Decay: Our dentist will extract most of the decayed tooth material, leaving only a tiny portion to cover the pulp tissue.
  • Adding Sedative Material: Similar to direct pulp capping, our dentist will apply a protective layer of sedative material to the decayed dentin. This is done to enhance remineralization.
  • Filling the Cavity: Afterward, a temporary filling will be placed to fill up the area until you return for your second appointment.
  • Measure the Progress: Our dentist will extract the temporary filling after six to eight months to assess the healing. In most cases, the previously decayed dentin would have regenerated, and any remnant decay is removed.
  • Providing Lasting Dental Restoration: Our dentist will apply a permanent filling to strengthen the tooth, allowing you to bite and chew normally. 

What Are the Biggest Benefits of Pulp Capping?

Pulp capping has several benefits for patients with infected or damaged teeth. Some of the biggest benefits include:

  • Preserve the Natural Tooth: When providing root canal treatment in St. Louis, the decayed tooth will be removed entirely since the pulp and tissue are already damaged. However, pulp capping helps preserve the natural tooth and helps avoid using more invasive treatments such as tooth extraction or root canal therapy.
  • Lower Risks of Complications: The less invasive nature of pulp capping treatments doesn’t predispose patients to a high risk of complications such as infection or nerve damage.
  • Faster Recovery: With our pulp capping treatments in St. Louis, our patients recover more quickly because their treatment is less invasive than root canal therapy.

Effective Dental Restorations With Pulp Capping in St. Louis, MO

Our St. Louis Dentists at Soulard Family Dentistry

If you’re tired of searching for a minimally invasive alternative to root canal treatments in St. Louis, our dentist at Soulard Family Dentistry uses pulp capping as an effective dental restorative alternative to a root canal.

Our pulp capping procedures, whether direct or indirect, depend on your tooth decay level. Root canal therapy is highly recommended if the decay is so severe that your tooth nerves and tissues are already infected. Should a root canal be chosen, our dentist provides dental crowns in St. Louis as a viable dental restoration treatment for teeth extracted due to decay or infection.

Schedule a pulp capping appointment with our dentist in St. Louis to help preserve your decaying tooth using a less invasive procedure.


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