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Root Canal Treatment Vs. Tooth Extraction?

Do you have a tooth that is damaged or infected? Likely you have two options: a root canal or a tooth extraction. But what is the difference between these two procedures and how do you know which is the better option for you? Let’s discuss your options!


Root Canal


A Root Canal (also known as Endodontic treatment) is when the dentist removes the inflamed or infected pulp that resides inside the tooth, cleans out the root canal and then fills the tooth and caps it with a temporary cap. You will need to return to the dentist for a second appointment to get a permanent fill and cap for the tooth to be fully restored. This will restore the tooth to its normal function. When the pulp is infected or inflamed from deep decay, injury, retreatments or chipped or a cracked tooth – then the root canal treatment is necessary. This procedure will be relatively cheaper than a tooth extraction, but ONLY if you get a dental implant placed after the extraction. It is best to try and save the natural tooth, but in some cases a root canal will not be possible for example if the tooth is too far damaged or the root canals are too narrow. In this case you will need to consider a tooth extraction.

Example of a root canal treatment via GIPHY


Tooth Extraction


Sometimes there are some situations that your tooth cannot be saved only by root canal treatment and then it requires tooth extraction. If you have a very large cavity, severe fracture, a crack, which extends below the gum line, then your tooth might not get saved by endodontic treatment. A tooth extraction is a relatively simple procedure. It is not necessary, but after getting a tooth extracted you can opt for a dental implant to replace the missing tooth and complete your smile. This is a whole other procedure though, and will add to the cost.

Example of a dental implant procedure that occurs after the extraction via GIPHY


What Does the Dentist Think?


Most dentists agree that it is better to try and save your natural tooth rather than extract the tooth and replace it with an implant. Even though in some cases you can choose either to do root canal treatment or to extract the tooth and replace it with dental implant or bridge work, it is always better to save your natural tooth. You should remember, that any artificial teeth, limits your ability to maintain a balanced diet and chewing certain foods.


Don’t Ignore The Issue


All in all, the most important thing is not to leave the highly decayed tooth untreated. Ignoring those issues can lead to not even more serious oral problems, but also to large medical issues if the infection spreads. Always put your health as a priority and choose the correct procedure, as it makes an impact for the rest of your life.


Los Angeles endodontist Dr. George Shinn has extensive experience in even the severest endodontic cases. Visit us at ENDO LA and get the best treatment possible for your individual situation. Don’t put your health at risk and don’t wait any longer, call us to schedule your consultation with our specialists today: 310-649-3636.

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