Root Canal vs. Extraction: What’s the Right Choice?

Tooth pain can be excruciating, especially if it is persistent. On the surface, pulling the tooth puts an immediate stop to pain and seems the cheaper, more effective option. However, even though extraction is far preferable to leaving an infected tooth in the mouth, it can have detrimental effects in the future. In fact, if it is possible, a root canal is usually more preferable than extraction.

What is the Difference between a Root Canal and an Extraction?

An extraction is a fairly straightforward procedure. A tooth is pulled from the socket in the jawbone. It is generally done when the tooth can’t be preserved in any other way. A root canal, on the other hand, is a method of preserving the tooth. The dentist removes the inflamed pulp inside of the tooth and seals and fills it. Then a crown is placed on the tooth and it can function like any other healthy tooth.



How Do You Know Which Procedure to Get?

Your dentist should recommend the procedure that best fits you. However, the goal for most dentists is to preserve the tooth rather than just extracting it. Therefore, unless the tooth is too damaged to be saved, they will most likely recommend a preservative procedure like a root canal. While this could seem like up-selling (root canals are more expensive than extractions), preserving a healthy tooth, when possible, is almost always a better decision for your oral health than removing it.



When is a Root Canal Better than Extraction?

As mentioned, dentists will usually recommend procedures like root canals in order to save your tooth. But why? Well aside from just keeping your smile gapless and keeping the tooth functional for chewing and talking, getting teeth extracted can drastically change your appearance. When your tooth gets pulled, it leaves the jawbone exposed to decay. The teeth on either side of the gap of the extracted tooth will also begin to fall in on the space. This can change your jawline in just a matter of 6 months and you will begin to notice you’re aging faster. 


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Sources

AAE

WebMD

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