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Tooth Extraction or Root Canal: Which Is Better To Get?

When you’re experiencing significant tooth decay, it can be tough to decide whether a root canal to save part of your tooth or a complete extraction would be best. As dentists, we understand how much you want to preserve your natural teeth, but when that’s not possible a tooth extraction and artificial restoration can be just as helpful.

If you have much of a choice between getting a root canal and tooth extraction, it’s important to get the opinion of your dentist first.

Closeup picture of dental instruments: drill and needle for root canal tooth extraction treatment

The Difference Between Tooth Extractions vs Root Canals

Ultimately, the difference between a root canal vs an extraction depends on how much of the tooth can be saved. Pulling a tooth sounds incredibly painful, but in some circumstances trying to save a tooth that has a significant amount of decay can threaten your dental health.

If you have a choice between an extraction and a root canal treatment, then it’s important for you to know the difference between the two.

Tooth Extraction:

A tooth extraction is a dental procedure in which a tooth is completely removed from its socket in the jawbone. It is typically performed when a tooth is severely damaged or infected, and it cannot be saved or restored through other dental treatments. There are two types of tooth extractions:

a. Simple Extraction: This procedure is used when the tooth is visible in the mouth and can be easily grasped by dental tools. The dentist numbs the area with a local anesthetic and uses specialized instruments to loosen and remove the tooth.

b. Surgical Extraction: This procedure is more complex and is necessary when a tooth has broken off at the gum line or has not fully erupted. It may also be required for teeth that are impacted (partially or completely trapped within the jawbone). The dentist may need to make an incision in the gum and potentially remove bone around the tooth before extracting it.

Root Canal:

A root canal is a dental treatment aimed at saving a severely damaged or infected tooth. It involves removing the infected or injured pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) and cleaning, disinfecting, and sealing the root canal system.

Deciding Between The Two

The choice between a tooth extraction and a root canal procedure depends on various factors, including the condition of the tooth, the extent of damage or infection, and the overall dental health of the patient. Here are some considerations:

Preserving Natural Teeth: Root canals aim to save natural teeth by removing the infected or damaged pulp while retaining the tooth structure. By preserving the natural tooth, root canals help maintain the jawbone structure and support neighboring teeth.

Replacement Options: After a tooth extraction, the extracted site is typically replaced with a dental implant, bridge, or denture. While these replacements can restore functionality and aesthetics, they may not offer the same level of strength and stability as a natural tooth. Removing and replacing your decayed tooth, however, will help preserve the surrounding teeth and prevent further damage to your dental hygiene.

Overall Dental Health: In general, preserving natural teeth is preferable for long-term dental health. However, there are cases where a tooth extraction may be the best option. For example, if a tooth is extensively decayed, fractured beyond repair, or causing a severe infection that cannot be effectively treated with a root canal, extraction may be necessary.

Professional Recommendation: It’s essential to consult with a dentist who can evaluate your specific situation. They will consider factors such as the condition of the tooth, your oral health, and your preferences before recommending the most appropriate treatment option.

Remember, every case is unique, and the decision between tooth extraction and a root canal should be made in consultation with your local dentist. If you’re in need of a tooth extraction or root canal, please contact our professionals with North Suburban Dental today. Let us restore your smile!

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