How To Choose Between A Root Canal And Extraction

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If you have an infection of the roots and pulp of your tooth, your dentist may have recommended getting a root canal. This is a procedure performed by an endodontist that removes the infected tissue and pulp from your tooth canal. It is a procedure that is performed often, but some patients before to simply extract the tooth. Here is more information about the procedures and how to decide between a root canal and an extraction.

How is a root canal performed?

The root canal is performed with anesthesia, so that you are numbed during the procedure. The dentist will drill a hole into the tooth so that they can reach the canal. One there, they will use tools to remove the infected tissue and pulp. After the infected tissue is completely removed, they will insert a packing material called gutta percha. This prevents further infection until you get a crown placed. Your dentist will either make a crown in the office, or they will have impression sent to a lab.

How is an extraction performed?

With an extraction, the procedure will begin the same, where you get anesthesia to numb the area. Once the area is numb, the dentist will use a variety of tools to first loosen the tooth, then remove it. In some cases, the dentist may break up the tooth into several pieces, then use tools to remove each piece of tooth. Stitches are used to close up the area where the tooth was pulled, which is then covered by gauze.

Why should you choose a root canal?

The main benefit of getting a root canal instead of an extraction is that you can save your natural tooth. While you will need to get the crown over the tooth as it is very brittle and prone to breaking, you will have the basic tooth structure. If you did not get the root canal and got an extraction, you would then need to decide how to replace your missing tooth. If you failed to do so, your other teeth could shift and cause spacing issues. While the initial procedure and recovery time take longer, you avoid additional procedures or treatments to replace the missing tooth.

Why would you want an extraction?

In some cases, you may want to get an extraction instead of a root canal. For example, perhaps you are already in need of a bridge due to another missing tooth right next to the one that needs a root canal. You can remove the tooth and get a bridge that replaces both teeth at once. Also, an extraction is less expensive than a root canal, so the procedure is often easier to afford.

For more information, contact a dentist like Four Corners Dental Group Fairbanks.