Root Canals vs. Tooth Extractions: Comparing Your Options

May 29, 2023

Filed under: Other Topics — Dr. Steve Koo @ 1:01 pm
Woman in yellow blouse, suffering from a toothache

If a tooth is causing you pain, you should certainly seek professional care as soon as possible. After a thorough exam, your dentist will make a treatment recommendation that will end your toothache and get you back on the road to a healthy smile. They might urge you to get the tooth extracted or undergo root canal therapy. Is one option better than the other? This blog post compares root canals vs. tooth extractions.

What Do They Accomplish?

A tooth extraction ends a toothache by removing the entire tooth, along with the nerve inside it that was sending pain signals to the brain. This is an efficient and straightforward procedure that can provide long-term pain relief.

Root canal therapy strives to preserve a damaged tooth. During the procedure, a dentist carefully accesses the tooth’s interior, removes damaged tissues, extracts the nerve, and then fills in the tooth. Root canal therapy has a high success rate, and many patients choose it because it can spare them from having a gap in their smile.

When Is a Tooth Extraction Better?

A tooth extraction is usually a better option than root canal therapy if:

  • Attempting to preserve a damaged tooth is not practical. In some cases, the damage to a tooth is so severe that attempting to restore it would be unlikely to yield the desired results. It would be better to remove the tooth and fill in the gap with a dental implant.
  • A wisdom tooth is causing problems. Although it is possible to perform root canal therapy on a wisdom tooth, doing so is not always practical. For most people, the wisdom teeth do not serve any real purpose, and removing them can ensure that they do not lead to future complications.

When Is Root Canal Therapy Better?

Root canal therapy may be the preferred option in many cases because it can prevent the complications that often accompany tooth loss. For example, because the tooth’s root is left in place, it can continue to stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from deteriorating. Preserving the tooth can also prevent nearby teeth from drifting out of their proper places and leading to a misaligned bite.

Additionally, root canal therapy may be less costly in the long run because it spares patients from having to pay for tooth replacement.

Which Is Better for You?

Both root canal therapy and tooth extractions offer noteworthy benefits, but they are suited to different circumstances. Your dentist will recommend the one that they believe is best for your unique situation so you can be free of your pain and enjoy improved oral health.

Meet the Practice

The skilled experts at Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery are able to perform a range of services, including complex tooth extractions. If you are struggling with a toothache and wondering about your treatment options, we would be pleased to consult with you. Contact our Houston office at 713-783-5560.

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