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Is It Better to Get a Root Canal or a Tooth Extraction?

Posted on August 28, 2020

Root canals offer a better long-term solution to tooth pain over a tooth extraction. An extraction results in the loss of a tooth, which may prompt complications down the line. When you receive a root canal, the endodontist does not remove your tooth — they clean and treat the infected area.

Tooth decay results in issues that demand either a tooth extraction or root canal. Decay can cause cavities, which may be painful if you do not get them treated. Too many people wait to seek treatment because they are scared of pain or worried about getting a more extensive procedure. Waiting too long to seek care can compound your tooth decay problem and turn a mild pain into a severe problem.

There are pros and cons to a root canal vs. extraction to treat tooth decay. Are root canals worth it? We’ll explore the answer below.

Root Canal vs. Extraction: What Is the Difference?

Root canals and extractions both solve tooth decay problems. Here is what each procedure entails.

Root Canal

When you receive a root canal, the endodontist cleans the infected soft tissue in your tooth down to the roots. They will disinfect the tooth to get all the bacteria out and apply antiseptic. After cleaning the area, the endodontist will refill the tooth with a thermoplastic material. You may need more than one session to get all the chambers in your tooth cleaned and refilled.

Many people associate root canals with pain. While you will experience discomfort following a root canal, you can treat it effectively with over-the-counter medication. You should only eat soft foods for a day following your procedure.

Tooth Extraction

During a tooth extraction, you lose the tooth. This is often because the tooth is too disfigured or painful with decay. The enamel or the tooth’s structural integrity may also be compromised. A dentist will remove the tooth entirely from your mouth with or without local anesthesia.

One disadvantage of a tooth extraction is that it can lead to infection. Your other teeth may also begin to migrate to fill in the space left by the extracted tooth, leaving the rest of your teeth misaligned or overcrowded.

If you do choose a tooth extraction, you should request a bridge or implant to fill the space left by the pulled tooth. These procedures can be more expensive, however, and your best option is to save the tooth in your mouth if you can. This is why a root canal is preferable to a tooth extraction.

Make an Endodontic Appointment With Us Today

Have you experienced pain from tooth decay? If your pain is worse than a regular cavity, consider seeking a root canal to address the issue. Contact us to discuss your problem or make an appointment with us online.

About Dr. Steven Lipner

Dr. Steven Lipner is an experienced Root Canal Specialist in NYC providing his patients with exceptional care. You can see Dr. Lipner at his Midtown East Manhattan practice, LipnerEndo, where he employs the benefits of latest dental technology, from Digital X-rays to High-Powered Microscope to achieve the best results & maximum precision.

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