There are two main treatment options for serious tooth infection: root canal treatment and tooth extraction. People may opt for extraction as root canal treatment has a reputation for being painful. However, with modern dentistry technology and anaesthesia options, it has become mostly pain-free. Dentists will most likely recommend a root canal over extraction. In this article, we will discuss the reasons behind their recommendation.
Root canal treatment vs. tooth extraction
A root canal treatment is used to clean out infection in your tooth. Once your tooth becomes severely infected, it is impossible to treat externally. Your dentist will remove the infected pulp from your tooth (that is the innermost layer) and then thoroughly clean out the tooth canal. Once the canal has been cleaned and sterilised your dentist will fill the hole with a special substance called gutta-percha. Your tooth is then sealed making it fully functional again. The whole procedure is done under anaesthetic.
Tooth extraction is fairly self-explanatory. A tooth is removed from your mouth with surgical forceps. This procedure is also done under local anaesthetic. It is sometimes a necessity but your dentist will likely suggest other options before resorting to extraction. Most dentists prefer performing root canal over extraction.
Why should I choose root canal over extraction?
Saving your natural teeth is always the best option. Sometimes this is not possible, but a dentist will almost always recommend trying. This is because having your natural teeth is the best way to stay orally healthy. Let’s discuss four reasons why you should choose root canal over extraction:
Once upon a time root canal treatments were quite painful. This is why they have a bad reputation. However, with modern dental technology, a root canal treatment is said to be no more painful than a filling. Your dentist will numb the area with local anaesthesia and can also offer you various options for sedation. If your fear of having a root canal is preventing you from having the treatment you need, then speak to your dentist. They can talk you through every step of the procedure to reassure you that root canal treatment is nothing to be worried about.
A root canal treatment can save your natural tooth. This is always the optimal outcome when treating a major tooth infection. Some people may say “well I don’t care about having a missing tooth” but it is more than just aesthetics. Extracting a tooth leaves a gap behind, this opens you up to oral health issues. It creates an imbalance in your bite that is difficult to correct. The teeth surrounding the missing spot can compensate for the gap and begin slowly moving. In most cases, your dentist will recommend a replacement tooth. This is another treatment to undergo and more cost, therefore, it is usually better to choose the root canal option in the first place.
A root canal treatment is more convenient than extraction. This is because it requires less follow up with your dentist as it is less likely to cause future problems. When you have root canal treatment your dentist thoroughly cleans out the infection, sterilises the tooth and fills the canal. It is a routine procedure with a great success rate. A tooth extraction will initially solve the problem, however, it is likely to cause more pain and require additional follow up visits. And it’s likely you may require a replacement tooth down the track – more time, money and effort.
Root canal treatments are a routine procedure. They are commonplace and a successful option for treating infection. Tooth extraction is not considered routine or an optimal choice. A dentist will usually only perform an extraction if it is 100% necessary and all other avenues have been explored. When you visit a trusted dentist, you can be sure that a root canal procedure will be safe and as comfortable as possible.
Boon Dental is here to help
As a general rule, it is better to opt for a root canal over extraction. If you think you have an infected tooth, then give us a call. We can discuss treatment options with you in more detail. At Boon Dental, our priority is always on transparency and patient comfort.