Root canal vs extraction — Should it stay or should it go?
When you’ve got a toothache caused by an infection of the dental pulp, there are usually two treatment options available — root canal or tooth extraction. While both procedures alleviate pain and stop the spread of infection, there are a couple of key differences. Let’s take a closer look at root canal vs extraction, or when your natural tooth should stay and when it should go.
Save the Tooth: Root Canal
Root canal therapy is designed to save your natural tooth. A root canal procedure prevents gaps in your smile from missing teeth, but it also prevents the jawbone degeneration that occurs with a tooth extraction. Once a root canal is healed, you should be able to eat, drink, chew, and talk without pain or difficulty.
Teeth treated with root canal therapy can last a lifetime without further treatment. It’s an efficient, comparatively inexpensive procedure that is virtually pain-free thanks to local anesthetic.
Get Rid of the Tooth: Extraction
Tooth extraction removes your damaged tooth altogether, leaving a gap in your smile. Sometimes it’s better to remove the tooth entirely rather than allow it to incur further damage or spread the infection to your other teeth. Extraction may be the only option when the tooth is so severely damaged that it can’t be restored.
When your tooth is extracted, the bone that once held the tooth in place becomes more vulnerable to deterioration caused by the remodeling of the bone. This happens in the absence of a tooth to support the area. The teeth adjacent to the gap left by the extraction will start to drift out of place over time. That leads to a misaligned bite and further stress on the remaining teeth. These issues can be mitigated by getting a dental implant or bridge to replace the missing tooth.
How to Know Which Procedure is Best For You
When it comes to root canal vs. tooth extraction, how do you know which procedure suits your situation? Ask your dentist!
Generally speaking, it’s better for your oral health when all of your teeth are intact. Most dentists prefer root canals to extractions whenever possible. Most dentists use extraction as a last resort — only when decay or infection is so extensive that there is not enough supporting tooth structure or bone remaining to support a root canal.
Dr. Bass is happy to answer any questions about the benefits and drawbacks of both root canal and tooth extraction. She will recommend the best course of treatment for your specific situation and your long-term dental health. If you think you might need a root canal or tooth extraction, call us at 704.864.9949 or make an appointment online. We’re here to help!
If dental health is important to you and your family, take steps to know how to keep your gums healthy. Gum health is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and overall good dental hygiene. Brush and floss multiple times per day, avoid tobacco products, and use a therapeutic mouthwash.
If you want to know more about maintaining a healthy smile, book an appointment today with Bass Dentistry.