Root Canals vs. Extractions: Pros and Cons

When tooth pain strikes, our instinct is to get relief quickly. Toothaches seem to happen at the most inconvenient times and can put a damper on our plans. But often, there are options, such as root canals and extractions, to treat a tooth that is causing severe pain.

root canals vs extractions

If a tooth has been injured from previous trauma, dental work or decay, your dentist will assess the extent of the injury and determine whether the tooth is savable. If there is enough tooth structure left and the tooth hasn’t already been previously treated with a root canal, your dentist may recommend that option. This can address pain quickly and maintain the chewing function of the tooth.

If the tooth hasn’t been previously crowned, that may also be recommended after the root canal is completed. If the tooth already has a crown, your dentist can go through the top of the crown and fill it in once completed. There are some instances in which a root canal may be difficult due to the anatomy of the roots or extent of the fracture or decay. In these cases, a specialist called an endodontist will perform your root canal.

When are extractions an option?

Ultimately, this comes down to the patient – you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your teeth. In some cases, a patient presents with a tooth that is ultimately not savable. It may have been damaged by decay to an extent that there isn’t much tooth structure left, have a significant fracture, or previously treated with a root canal and is still giving a patient difficulty. In these cases, an extraction is certainly an option.

An extraction provides instant relief, but also leaves a missing tooth. Your dentist will discuss the location and importance of the tooth. For example, if your second molar is the troubled tooth, you very well may function fine without it.

Extractions are less expensive than root canals, but there may be extra costs for replacing your missing tooth if you choose to. You may want to talk with your dentist about replacement options such as implants or bridges. During your emergency appointment, your dentist will discuss all of these options thoroughly with you. He or she will also give you all financial information.

Preventive care checkups can help to prevent dental emergencies, so be sure to call our Rochester dental office and schedule an appointment today!

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Family Dentist Tree is a family-oriented dental office located in Rochester, MN. Whether you need a cleaning, filling, crown, root canal, treatment for gum disease, or teeth whitening, we are here to help you with all your dental needs. We serve all ages, and our offerings include family dental care and senior plans. Request an appointment online or call us at 507-288-1188.