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Saving teeth via root canal not advised

CHICAGO, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Patients should forgo prolonged dental heroics -- root canals -- and replace bad teeth with dental implants, dentists say.

"There really is no justification for undergoing multiple endodontic or periodontic procedures, and enduring the pain and financial burden, to save a diseased tooth," John Minichetti, a dentist with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

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"The days are over for saving teeth till they fall out. Preserving questionable teeth is not the best option from both oral health and cosmetic perspectives."

Even though patients often resist losing natural teeth, in many cases the best outcomes occur after extraction and inserting implants, Minichetti said.

Root canals can fail because abscesses occur and oral surgery is required to clean out the infected area, Minichetti said.

Minichetti said a recent study published in the Journal of Oral Implantology showed single-tooth dental implants are 98.5 percent successful after seven years, while the American Academy of General Dentistry found first-time root canals fail 5 percent of the time and at much higher rates in repeat procedures.

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