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Root Canal Therapy vs. Extraction — Which Is Better?

June 10, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 8:48 pm
Dental patient explaining her symptoms to her dentist

If you have a severe toothache, you can probably think of nothing but pain relief. Your dentist can help with that! After a thorough examination, they might recommend that you undergo root canal therapy or an extraction. Which of those two treatment options is better? That depends on your circumstances. This blog post aims to help you compare your options.

How Do They Work?

Root canal therapy is a restorative treatment during which your dentist accesses infected tissue inside a tooth. After the infected tissue is cleaned out and the tooth’s nerve is removed, the tooth gets filled with an inert material, and a crown is placed on top of it to protect it. The goal of root canal therapy is to preserve a damaged or infected tooth so it can continue to serve as a functional member of your smile.

An extraction is simply the removal of a tooth. In most cases, it is a fairly straightforward procedure, and since the entire tooth gets removed, it is an effective way to end even the most painful toothaches.

When Is Root Canal Therapy the Better Choice?

Tooth removal can lead to some complications down the road. For example, nearby teeth may drift out of place, and you might feel self-conscious about a gap in your smile. Plus, tooth loss increases the risk of future tooth loss down the road.

Therefore, whenever possible, most dentists prefer to preserve damaged teeth via root canal therapy. It can spare you from the expense of tooth replacement, and it can allow the treated tooth to function normally for decades after the initial procedure. In fact, a successful root canal can provide a lifetime of benefits!

When Is an Extraction the Better Choice?

Some patients choose to get a tooth removed because it is a simpler and more affordable option than root canal therapy. However, since it can actually cost more in the long run and lead to some unpleasant consequences, extraction is usually considered a last resort.

You might need to get your tooth removed if the damage to it is so severe that attempting to preserve it would be impractical or even impossible. After an extraction, you should pursue tooth replacement as soon as possible so you can avoid oral health complications in the future.

Both root canals and extractions have their proper place. In most cases, though, it is best to preserve a damaged tooth in order to protect the long-term health of your smile.

Meet the Practice

The seven dentists at Westgate Dental Care are proud to work together to provide comprehensive oral care for the Arlington Heights community. If you are struggling with a toothache, give us a call; we can usually schedule emergency patients on a same-day basis. You can rely on us to thoroughly explain the pros and cons of your treatment options so you can make a well-informed decision about how to move forward. To learn more about us and how we may be able to serve you, contact our office at 847-577-7171.