Root Canal Or Dental Extraction? Faqs About Both Treatment Options

27 October 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Do you need a root canal or a dental extraction? You have pain and other signs of serious decay. If you're not sure which type of treatment is the right way to go, take a look at everything you need to know about two of the most common dental procedures.

What Is A Root Canal?

This endodontic treatment requires a dentist or dental specialist (endodontist) to remove infected, inflamed, or injured soft pulp from the interior of the tooth. The dentist then cleans and disinfects the, as the name implies, the canal of the root. After the dentist removes the infected area, they will seal the tooth with a filling. This reduces the risks of a repeat infection-related issue. 

Why Would You Need This Type of Treatment?

Deep cavities (areas of decay) and infections are the primary reasons to choose this endodontic treatment. But an infection isn't the only reason to schedule this procedure. Some patients need a canal treatment after an injury where the tooth cracks. 

What Is A Dental Extraction? 

Extraction means removal. In the case of dental extraction, the dentist will remove the tooth from your mouth. This is commonly known as pulling a tooth. 

Why Would You Need An Extraction?

Like a root canal, you may need an extraction to treat severe decay or after a serious dental injury. You may also need this procedure if you have significant gum disease (periodontitis that affects the tooth and bone) or an impacted tooth. According to a 2020 article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, cavities (dental caries) and gum disease were the most common reasons for extractions. 

Which Option Is the Best Choice For You?

These two treatments have some similarities—but also have some differences. Both can treat severe dental decay and serious injuries that cause cracks. A root canal procedure is often a first-line course of treatment. This option is a more conservative approach to dental health management. Provided the rest of the interior and exterior are salvageable, a canal procedure will leave you with a natural tooth. An extraction will not have the same result.

Even though it is possible to replace an extracted tooth with a prosthetic, it's preferable to eliminate this need. But if you do choose an extraction, a fake tooth can help you to eat, talk, and may restore your mouth's health. Without a replacement (prosthetic) tooth your other teeth may shift out of alignment or you could experience jaw bone loss.  

Speak to a dentist to learn more about root canals