Patient undergoing dental filling for cavity

Root Canal vs Tooth Extraction – Which To Choose And When

When suffering from a dental emergency, it is common to think that a tooth needs to be removed in order to release any pain you experience. This approach actually means you’re overlooking the benefits of having a root canal. Unsure what this means?

Let’s explain.

Tooth extraction treatment is a form of treatment that requires the affected tooth to be removed from its socket entirely. This would cause a gap within your teeth unless you consider further cosmetic treatments to replace the natural tooth with an artificial replacement. Extraction treatment is only considered when the tooth is severely decayed or damaged beyond repair. Of course, this form of treatment will relieve you of your pain instantly. Although, tooth extraction treatment carries fewer benefits to your oral health.

  • You will lose your natural smile
  • Reduced bone density and strength
  • Noticeable change to your facial structure
  • Teeth shifting into different positions causing biting problems

Although, this doesn’t mean that tooth extraction should never be considered. Sometimes, the dentist will have no alternative.


When Is Tooth Extraction Considered?

The dentist identifies if the tooth is severely decayed beyond repair. The dentist widens the tooth socket and gently rocks the tooth side to side with forceps to remove it from the socket. This is completed under local anaesthesia and a gauze pad is provided to stem any bleeding once the tooth is removed.

Tooth extraction is also considered in the following instances:

  • The mouth is too crowded, and extraction is required for straight alignment of your teeth and bite.
  • There is a risk of infection to your neighbouring teeth if the bacteria spreads from the impacted tooth.
  • The tooth is severely decayed risking tooth erosion.
  • The remains of the tooth aren’t enough to support a crown or filling.

When Is A Root Canal Considered?

Root canal treatment is considered where an affected tooth that’s decayed or damaged isn’t so severe that it needs to be extracted. This means there are healthy remains of the tooth that can be saved, or the tooth isn’t considered “dead”. A lot has been spoken about root canal treatment, and they seem worse than they actually are. The truth is, a root canal is considered more beneficial to long-term oral health, for adults and children.

Here’s why:

  • Halt’s infection spreading to neighbouring teeth
  • Keeps bone density strong and prevents bone degeneration
  • Reduces chances of future health complications and poor wellbeing
  • Retains your natural smile


So, Which Do I Choose?

Ultimately, where the dentist identifies that an affected tooth can actually be saved, you’re preserving your oral health greatly. It ultimately depends on the amount of damage that has occurred in the tooth.

Having an extraction isn’t the end of the world. There are cosmetic treatments such as dental implants available to replace the natural tooth with an artificial, natural-looking replacement to maintain your smile. Maintaining naturality in your oral health is always recommended to ensure your teeth and gums continue to remain healthy for years to come. A root canal will protect the affected tooth from any further damage, and the crown ensures there is little to zero impact on your oral health.

If your tooth is severely damaged or decayed, an extraction may be the only choice. Are you in need of tooth extraction treatment? Find out here by understanding the signs that you need your tooth extracted.  The dentist is best placed to determine the next course of action.

Do you have decayed or damaged teeth? Contact our exceptional dentists at Garran Dental today and we promise to get your oral health and confidence in your smile back. Contact us now and check yourself in for an appointment.