I am not a Dentist but I have worked side by side with Dentist for 14 years, in addition I was raised by two nutritionists for parents, I feel I have a pretty good grasp on both sides of the issue. Having read some of the responses and concerns I do have to say that just because in your mind something is not working the way you think it should, does not means it is wrong especially in the Endo-dontic world where the action taken is actually fixing something that is already broken! Please note that having the need of a root canal more than likely means that there is a infection present and causing damage in fact in the 14 years I have worked with dental I can name two deaths and two other major health related problems (I.E. stroke and heart attack) that was directly related to the patient not removing the infection with the proper endo. treatment.
Having said this is the best alternative treatment removing the teeth? I have participated in studies where they evaluated the effects of tooth removal, in truth this is were your nutritionist alarms should be buzzing the loudest, Major TMJ effect are caused by tooth loss, dietary problems from constipation to stomach ulcers, Migraines, ear infections, vision problems the list goes on, but probably the most disturbing is the fact that the removal of a tooth causes an opening for future infections.
So is a denture the answer? Contrary to statement made on this site, NO! Not unless you want to spend the rest of your life with very much reduced taste sensations, hot and cold response and extreme bone loss in the moth area. Not to mention placing a plastic plate in a hot and constantly bacteria riddled place for hours on end sounds more like a petre dish experiment than something wanted in the mouth. And for those of you who see people who live perfectly with there dentures, be sure to visit the dentist on the next visit when they have to repaired or replace the denture and before blaming the dentist for not making a denture as well as the old one remember when you were a denture fore a number of years the bone is lost on the ridges holding the denture in place and the plastic teeth have been warn down considerably giving the classic “old man” face. To replace or repair changes the fragile balance on the soft tissues causing quite the painful break-in period usually with large open wounds in the most bacterial place in the body.
I am not apposed to alternative procedures. It is quite OK to ask your dentist if there is something else that can be done, such as splints or bite adjustments but it is to be remembered that when a tooth is in need or a root canal this mean that there is already active damage done, in essence you are doing damage control. Also if the decision occurs to remove the tooth look into the ability of replacing the tooth with implants or crown work minimizing the damage done to your bite.
The easiest way to avoid it is take good care of your teeth don’t fall into the belief of “inheriting bad teeth” all teeth are good teeth some just require more care. And if a root canal treatment is needed my advise is shell out the extra money and go to a specialist who only does this type of treatment as the results will be more likely healthy and successful in the long run.