Root canal procedures are common when a person has damaged a tooth so badly that the roots must be removed. The treatment is called a root canal because when it is performed, the dentist removes the roots of the tooth in order to salvage the exterior. While the interior of the tooth, also known as the dental pulp or “roots,” is removed, the rest of the tooth remains intact.
The most favorable procedure when a tooth is badly damaged is a root canal. However, there are also other options for people with a badly damaged tooth. One of the most popular alternatives to a root canal includes dental extraction. When a tooth is extracted, the entire tooth is removed, including the dental pulp and the actual tooth. From there, you can decide if you would like to fill the gap in your bite with a dental flipper (retainer), implant, or simply leave the space empty.
Regardless of your choice, how you repair severe dental damage to one tooth or more is up to you. Work with your dentist to discover which option is the best for each specific situation. It can be a difficult decision when you realize a tooth has become so badly damaged that a root canal or extraction is required. But, you can make the right choice and enjoy a straight, radiantly white smile for years to come.
Here is how the two most popular treatments for severely damaged teeth compare.
Root Canal vs Tooth Extraction
Root canals are the most commonly recommended procedure for severely damaged teeth. However, they commonly lead to further damage as the tooth left behind is hollow and already damaged.
An extraction is a treatment used when the tooth is severely damaged and removing the roots and pulp is not enough to save your bite. Tooth removal does not mean that you will lose your radiant smile, but it does mean that the tooth cannot be saved.
This is commonly the case when a tooth not only has deep decay into the roots rendering it dead, but it may also be cracked, or even completely broken. If the tooth originally suffered the damage due to a large cavity, the increased risk of a fracture may also be a cause for a tooth extraction instead of a root canal.
If a person is suffering from a tooth that has a crack or a clear risk of breakage below the gumline, it means they are a candidate for tooth extraction.
What is the Difference Between a Root Canal vs Extraction?
If you need to know what the comparison of a tooth extraction vs root canal, it is easy to see the differences and similarities with this simple breakdown:
Extraction is needed when a tooth is either so badly damaged that it must be removed or is at such a high risk for breakage that removal is the best option.
When a person is suffering from tooth decay or dental damage so severe it requires the removal of dental pulp or roots, a root canal is an appropriate treatment.
What Is the Right Choice for Me?
Generally, a root canal is a preferred method to fix a natural tooth that you want to keep in place. If a root canal procedure is not an option, you may need to have your dentist further evaluate the condition of your tooth, and how much damage the tooth can take.
If the tooth is too compromised to remain in your mouth, the dentist may tell you that extraction is recommended. It is up to you to work closely together with your dentist to discover the correct path for your dental procedure.
Your dentist may recommend a root canal, but when you see the side-by-side comparison of the root canal vs tooth extraction it could become more clear to you which procedure is best.
If you have additional questions about root canal or extraction and need advice on which is the right option for you, do not hesitate to reach out to us at Gables Sedation Dentistry.