The Top Treatments for Pulpitis

infected tooth and sore tooth nerve (pulpitis)

Do you have sudden tooth pain or sensitivity that keeps getting worse? If so, you may be suffering from pulpitis. Pulpitis is a type of infection inside your tooth that requires immediate treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss pulpitis, as well as the top treatments for pulpitis. We will also compare the two most common treatments to help you decide which option may be best for you.

What is pulpitis?

Pulpitis is a condition that affects the pulp of your teeth. The pulp is the soft tissue inside your teeth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When you have pulpitis, this tissue becomes inflamed. This can cause tooth pain and sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks. In some cases, it can also lead to root abscesses or tooth loss. Since pulpitis has the potential to cause severe problems, prompt treatment is recommended.

Treatments for Pulpitis

Treatments for pulpitis revolve around removing the infected tissue from the inside of the tooth. There are  two main ways to do this: root canal therapy and dental implants.

Root Canal Therapy

root canal being performed on tooth

Root canal therapy is the most common treatment for pulpitis. During this procedure, the dentist will use a dental drill to access the inside of the tooth. They will then use a series of root canal files to remove the infected tissue from the pulp chamber and root canals. They will then clean and fill the inside of the tooth with a rubber-like material. In most cases, a dental crown will also be placed on the tooth to protect it from further damage.

Root canal therapy can be done in one or two visits, depending on the severity of the infection. The infection is usually removed during the first appointment, however a second appointment may be needed to place a permanent dental crown once the tooth has healed. It is generally a successful procedure, however there is a risk of failure.

Dental Implants

Another treatment option for pulpitis is dental implants. Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed in the jawbone to act as artificial teeth roots. Once the implants are in place, a dental crown is placed on top of them. As you may have deduced, dental implants are used in cases where the infected tooth or teeth are extracted, or removed from the mouth.

Dental implants are considered a more permanent solution than root canal therapy since removing the entire tooth also guarantees the removal of the infection. However, they are also more expensive and invasive than a traditional root canal.

Which Treatment Should You Choose?

The best treatment option for you will depend on a number of factors. These include the severity of your infection and the number of teeth affected, just to name a few.

If you have a severe infection that has spread to multiple teeth, dental implants may be your best option. However, if you have a small infection in one tooth, root canal therapy may be all that you need. 

Additionally, your dentist may recommend implants over a root canal in cases where the affected tooth does not have enough healthy structure to support a crown or when a root canal is likely to fail. Ultimately, however, you will need to discuss both options with your dentist to determine which is the better option for your situation.

Here is a table comparing root canal therapy and dental implants as possible treatments for pulpitis:

CriteriaRoot Canal TherapyDental Implants
DefinitionA dental procedure that involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth and filling the root canal with a material to prevent further infectionA surgical procedure that involves replacing the entire tooth, including the root, with an artificial tooth
ProcedureThe dentist will first numb the affected tooth and then create an opening in the tooth to access the pulp. They will then remove the infected or damaged pulp, clean the root canal, and fill it with a material to prevent further infection.The dentist will first remove the damaged or infected tooth and then place a metal post or screw into the jawbone. After a few months, the implant will fuse with the jawbone, and then an artificial tooth will be attached to the implant.
Success RateThe success rate for root canal therapy is high, with a success rate of around 95%.The success rate for dental implants is also high, with a success rate of around 95%.
CostRoot canal therapy is generally less expensive than dental implants.Dental implants are generally more expensive than root canal therapy.
Pain and RecoveryRoot canal therapy can cause some discomfort during and after the procedure, but pain can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Recovery time is usually short, and patients can resume their normal activities within a day or two.Dental implant surgery is more invasive than root canal therapy and can cause more discomfort during and after the procedure. Pain can be managed with prescription painkillers. Recovery time is longer, and patients may need to avoid certain activities for several weeks.
Long-term EffectsRoot canal therapy can help preserve the natural tooth, but it may weaken the tooth and increase the risk of fracture over time.Dental implants provide a long-term solution for missing teeth and can help prevent bone loss in the jaw.

It’s important to note that the best treatment option for pulpitis may depend on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the location of the affected tooth, and the patient’s overall dental health. A dentist or endodontist can help determine the best treatment option for each individual case

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed pulpitis and the two most common treatments for this condition: root canal therapy and dental implants. We have also compared these two options to help you decide which may be the best for you. If you are suffering from tooth pain or sensitivity, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to properly diagnose your condition and recommend the best course of treatment.

Dr. Sam Sadati wearing black suite portrait

Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry.  He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.