Root Canal or Extraction?

Deciding between having a root canal or extraction can be a difficult decision, especially when you are in pain. Root canals and tooth extractions are two effective treatment options that dentists can recommend to treat damaged or infected teeth. There are some important points to consider when making your decision.

Root Canal or ExtractionWhen is a Root Canal the Best Option?

Root canal treatment saves teeth that have damaged, infected or dead pulp. The pulp is the innermost layer of your teeth that provides nerve sensation and a healthy blood flow. A deep cavity or crack may allow bacteria to enter your tooth and damage the vulnerable pulp. Once the pulp becomes damaged, you may develop an infection, which can lead to intense pain, swelling and bone disease. Root canals save teeth with damaged pulps that are otherwise healthy.

When Should a Tooth be Extracted?

Sometimes, teeth are severely damaged and need to be removed. A large cavity may destroy too much of your tooth structure and make your tooth unrestorable. Additionally, if your tooth has a severe fracture that extends below the gum line, extraction may be the best choice. A fractured tooth can be saved if the fracture can be completely covered with a dental crown, which helps prevents bacteria from accessing the pulp. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), a crack that cannot be completely covered by a dental crown with has a lower prognosis for successful root canal treatment and should be considered for extraction.

What is a root canal?What is a Root Canal?

Before root canal treatment your dentist will numb the area. After you are properly anesthetized, your dentist will make a small opening in the top of the tooth and remove the infected or dead pulp. Then, the pulp space will be carefully cleaned to remove the remaining tissue and the remaining bacteria. The pulp space is then filled with gutta percha, a rubber-to restore the function and strength of the tooth

The most common symptom after a root canal some tenderness for a few days and is usually managed with ibuprofen and Tylenol. If you experience severe pain or if your pain does not resolve, schedule a follow-up visit with your dentist.

 

How is a Tooth Extracted?

If your tooth requires extraction, your dentist will first numb the area so you don’t feel any discomfort. A small elevator, or lever-like instrument, loosens your tooth in the socket. Forceps are used to firmly grasp and ultimately extract the tooth. Although you should not feel sharp pain, you can expect to feel some pressure during the procedure.

After your tooth has been extracted, your dentist will direct you to bite on a piece of gauze until a blood clot forms. Light bleeding for about 24 hours after the procedure is normal. Facial swelling and bruising is common and can be reduced with ice packs.

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Making Your Decision

Deciding between a root canal or extraction can be a difficult choice. After examining your tooth, your dentist will give you a recommendation based on professional judgment. This is an important time to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about treatment. If you are looking for a Lone Tree endodontist, consult the 5280 Magazine webpage to find a qualified endodontist near you.