Monday, 8 February 2021

Root Canal Vs Extraction: Which Is Better?


Root Canal Vs Tooth Extraction

Your teeth can suffer damage from a number of issues. There could be a hole caused by tooth decay, fracture of part of the tooth due to an injury or weakness of the tooth or it could also be due to an infection of the gum. When this damage affects the part of the tooth called the pulp which is the layer of the tooth containing the nerves and blood vessels, the treatment options will be to consider either tooth extraction or a root canal treatment. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of each and when your dentist considers which treatment option.

What is a root canal?

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure carried out to preserve the tooth when the pulp of a tooth is damaged or dead.

What happens during a root canal treatment?

First, a local anesthetic is applied to that area to numb it and prevent pain during the treatment. Then, an opening is created in the tooth to open up the canals containing the damaged pulp. The pulp is removed and the canals are then properly cleaned and disinfected. The canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha and then sealed up. 

After the treatment, the tooth is restored by the dentist for proper aesthetics and function. Your dentist may recommend placing a crown on the tooth after the treatment. There is minimal pain after the treatment, although you will be given pain medication to go home with.

What is tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction is a procedure done to remove the diseased or damaged tooth completely from the socket in the bone using dental instruments. There are two types of extractions. It could be a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. 

A simple extraction is done when the tooth can be seen in the mouth. A surgical extraction is carried out when the tooth can not be seen in the mouth because it has broken off below the gum line. It is also performed when the tooth has not erupted in the mouth like the wisdom tooth or third molar.

What happens during a tooth extraction?

An anesthetic is applied to make the area numb. Special instruments are used to loosen the tooth and lift it out of the socket. You may feel some pressure during the procedure. Mild bleeding is expected, so a piece of gauze will be placed over it and you will be asked to bite on it for some time to stop the bleeding. 

If it is a surgical extraction, mild swelling can be expected. However, this can be reduced by applying ice packs over the area. Your dentist will give you a pain relief medication prescription to help with the mild pain after the procedure. You will also be given some instructions to help care for the extraction site and help to heal. You can expect the site to be completely healed after two or three weeks.

 It is important to replace the tooth to prevent the shifting of adjacent teeth. There are options for replacement ranging from partial dentures, bridges to dental implants. Your dentist will explain each option to you and help you choose an appropriate replacement.

Root canal vs tooth extraction

Tooth extraction is done when the teeth are too damaged or diseased to be saved especially if they have been damaged for a long time. 

If the tooth has suffered a fracture well below the gum line, tooth extraction may be considered.

Keeping the tooth is always the best option if possible because a replacement is never really as good as having the original tooth.

So, the final verdict of having a root canal treatment or extraction will be arrived at after discussing with your dentist about your own peculiar case.

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