Extraction vs. root canal for a damaged tooth

Tooth Extraction or Root Canal – Choosing the Right Treatment for You

Do you have an infected, decayed or damaged tooth? To address the issue, you’ll need either a tooth extraction or root canal therapy.

Whenever possible, experts recommend saving teeth – not pulling them. So, if a root canal can restore your oral health, that’s probably the right course of action. However, in some cases, getting a tooth extraction is a better solution.

Your oral surgeon or dentist will recommend a procedure based upon your particular circumstances, but the final decision is yours. To make an informed choice, it will be helpful for you to understand a bit more about each of these options.

Extraction vs. root canal for a damaged tooth

When a Root Canal Is Advisable

If a tooth has a cavity or fracture that extends to the pulp, but is otherwise viable, root canal therapy is generally preferable. The procedure can stabilize and repair the damage, eliminating the need for tooth extraction.

After treatment, the tooth remains in its original position. And, thanks to a crown, the smile is back to looking beautiful.

When Tooth Extraction Is Necessary

Though oral surgeons and dentists prefer to save teeth, root canal therapy is not always possible.

If a tooth is too badly decayed or diseased, pulling it may be the only solution. The same may be true for a tooth with a crack that reaches below the gumline. To avoid future oral health complications, it’s almost always a good idea to replace missing teeth.

How to Make a Decision About Treatment

Root canal therapy has a bad reputation, but in reality, most patients say the procedure is no more painful than getting a filling. So, don’t let any horror stories cloud your judgement.

Instead, consider what’s best for your oral health. Saving your original teeth for as long as possible is to your advantage, as a tooth extraction can lead to future complications. When teeth are missing, the smile starts to shift, creating issues with alignment. The mouth becomes more difficult to clean properly, so gum disease and dental decay can more easily set in. And, as time goes on, bone loss in the jaw is to be expected.

Because of all of the oral health issues that can arise with missing teeth, getting a tooth extraction should be a last resort. But if removal is necessary, you should also consider replacement. Restoring your smile with a dental implant will prevent all of the problems listed above, but your oral surgeon can explain your other tooth restoration options.

Should you schedule root canal therapy or a get your tooth pulled? If you’re not sure, get an opinion from a skilled and experienced local oral surgeon. For expert advice in the greater central Indiana area, make an appointment with Dr. Garrison or Dr. Kelly at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

The Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery team has a combined 40 years of practical experience in diagnosing and treating issues involving the teeth, jaws, mouth and face. Contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, office and schedule a professional consultation to determine if a root canal or tooth extraction is your optimal solution.