Root Canal Vs Extraction; Which One is Better?

Jun 07, 2021

Dental decay develops at different levels and in the initial stages, it does not have any symptoms. However, as it advances, our dentist in Austin, TX, will recommend different treatments based on the severity of the problem. In the early stages, dental fillings may be used. However, as the decay progresses the dentist can opt for a root canal and extraction.

Both root canal and extraction can get rid of the decay and stop the spread. However, the two procedures are different and it is important to know their difference and how they work.

What are Root Canal and Extraction?

The decision to choose either root canal or extraction will depend on the purpose and severity of the decay.

A root canal is an endodontic procedure done to remove the damaged pulp from inside the tooth. The pulp chamber is the innermost soft layer that houses the nerves and blood vessels that nourish the teeth during the growth stage. When the pulp is damaged because of decay, it causes pain and discomfort. If the decay is not removed on time, it can spread to the rest of the tooth and cause damage.

Tooth extraction is the process of pulling your damaged permanent teeth from the socket. It is also a surgical procedure, but it is done in an outpatient setting in one dental visit.

When is Root Canal Used Over Extraction?

When the pulp is infected due to decay or repeated procedures, a root canal may be ideal. It is also done when the infection is severe, but not too extensive to warrant a tooth extraction.

The primary purpose of tooth canal therapy is to stop the spread of the infection and save your teeth.

When is Tooth Extraction Better?

Tooth extraction is done when your teeth are severely damaged to be saved. While decay is the primary reason for an extraction, a dentist near you can recommend tooth extraction in situations like impacted teeth. When your wisdom teeth are impacted underneath your gums, they can cause pain and will need to be removed.

The dentist may also recommend dental extraction if you have teeth overcrowding. The removal of the teeth will make way for orthodontia, the process of aligning the teeth.

How is Root Canal and Extraction Performed?

The endodontic treatment and extraction procedures are different.

  • Root canal

Root canal treatment in Austin is done in two dental visits. The dentist will begin the process by examining and cleaning the gums. A radiograph is also done to check the state of the jaw bone.

The affected teeth are separated with a dental sheet to keep them dry. The dentist will drill the teeth to access the pulp and remove it. The cavity is cleaned and tested to check if there are any infected parts left. The chamber is filled with a biocompatible material and a block of adhesive cement is used to cover the area.

The dentist will seal the area with porcelain or metal dental fillings. A cast of your teeth is taken to make the permanent crowns, which are fixed on the final visit.

  • Tooth extraction

The extraction surgery can either be simple or surgical depending on the reason. For the simple extractions, the dentist will use forceps to loosen the teeth and remove them. A surgical extraction involves cutting the impacted teeth in little pieces for easy removal. The gums are then stitched to facilitate healing and swift recovery.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

A root canal can take a few days, usually three to five for the gums to heal. Tooth extraction, on the other hand, will depend on the type of extraction done. The simple extractions heal in about three days, but it can take longer for surgical ones.

Final Thoughts

The decision to get an extraction or root canal therapy will depend on the severity of the problem. Our goal is to preserve the teeth and as such if extraction can be prevented, that is the option that is chosen.

Visit our dentist at Lifetime Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry for an assessment and discussion on which procedure is suitable for you.

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