dentist pointing up

Is It Better To Get A Root Canal Or Tooth Extraction?

Once we get tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or an injured tooth, a dental procedure would be needed. But is it better to get a root canal or tooth extraction? The answer will generally depend on the severity of the damage. Glenmore Park’s trusted dentists from Bright Dental Group will typically recommend a root canal first as it’s important to try to save the tooth.


Difference Between Root Canal And Tooth Extraction

dental .patientTo understand more, let us determine the differences between a root canal and tooth extraction. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to decide which is better to get. We will also tackle how the procedures are done as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

In treating dental problems, dentists are always eager to save the infected or damaged tooth at all costs. And even though tooth extraction seems to be the easiest way to get rid of the pain and infection, they will more likely suggest a root canal first.

What is a root canal treatment? A root canal treatment is an endodontic procedure used by dentists to remove an infection from the core of the tooth. It isn’t a painful procedure to go through and it is one of the best options in saving a damaged tooth.

How about tooth extraction? If the tooth is severely damaged and might cause harm to the healthy teeth nearby, tooth extraction may be the most viable option. A dentist will perform this with the help of local or general anesthesia to remove an entire tooth. The removed tooth can be replaced by bridges or crowns supported by a dental implant.


Root Canal Procedure

The root canal procedure is basically a treatment for teeth with decay, fillings that leak, and damages. This is a treatment recommended if the pulp of the teeth is damaged due to bacterial infection. Once the bacteria spreads, there is a possibility for the pulp to die, a serious problem that could lead to other complications. If this happens, a root canal treatment is a better option than a tooth extraction.


How is it done?

The removal of the infection will conclude by first, examining the infected tooth. Your dentist might ask you to get dental X-rays for better observation of the tooth structure.

Next, the treatment area will be prepared and injected with a numbing agent. This is an important part as the root canal treatment can be painful and uncomfortable at the same time.

Once the treatment site is numbed, the dentist will drill through the tooth which will allow him into the root canals and area of the pulp. Several dental tools will be used to remove the infection and clean the site.

After the cleaning, the canals will be shaped accordingly, this is in preparation for the placement of the dental fillings.

The patient will be asked to go home and follow aftercare procedures. A prescription will most likely be given to help in the recovery period.



  • Prevents infection from spreading and infecting healthy teeth.
  • With dental fillings, the results could be astonishing.
  • It saves the tooth to avoid total tooth loss.
  • Root canal treatment saves the jawbone and prevents it from degenerating.
  • Retains tooth functions.
  • Improves oral and overall health.


  • After the treatment, the tooth might become brittle.
  • Compared to tooth extraction, root canal treatment is much more expensive.
  • The procedure is a bit more complicated as well.
  • Discoloration might occur in the long run.


Tooth Extraction Procedure

In some cases where dental treatments for saving teeth are no longer helpful, tooth extraction will follow. This is the total removal of an infected or damaged tooth through surgery. Some of the reasons why tooth extraction is needed are extreme decay of the tooth, severe infection, and overcrowding. This is a quick outpatient procedure that requires the use of anesthetics.


Health Conditions To Consider

Tooth extraction is a procedure that could affect your oral and overall health. Before undergoing the treatment, remember to inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:

  • heart defect
  • liver disease
  • thyroid disease
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • weak immune system
  • renal disease
  • a synthetic joint


2 Types Of Tooth Extraction

girl with removed toothThe procedure that your dentist will use will depend if the affected tooth is either visible or impacted. Tooth extraction comes in 2 different styles, the simple and the surgical.

  • Simple Extraction

Before the extraction, you will be given an anesthetic to numb the area so you will not feel pain, discomfort, and pressure while the procedure is ongoing. Next, the dentist will use an elevator, a dental tool to loosen the tooth. Once it’s loose, forceps will be used for removal.

  • Surgical Extraction

In a surgical extraction, the patient might receive two kinds of anesthesia, local and intravenous anesthesia. Both of which are essential in numbing the treatment site and keeping you calm and relaxed. If needed, general anesthesia will also be used. The steps are simple, your dentist will make an incision to the gums to give them access to the tooth root. The bone around the tooth may also be removed before the extraction of the tooth.



  • Alleviate pain caused by the infection and decay.
  • It strategically resolves the problem.
  • Saves other teeth from getting infected.
  • With a dental implant, your smile will stay the same.
  • Treats periodontal disease, if there’s any.
  • Resolves overcrowding and impacted tooth.
  • Cheaper than root canal treatment.


  • The space from the extraction area could accumulate bacteria.
  • Nonstop bleeding for 12 hours could occur following the procedure.
  • Risks of fever, nausea, vomiting, and infection.
  • The remaining teeth could shift and cause misalignment.
  • Tooth replacement will be required, which could be costly. (e.g. dental implant, bridges)
  • Affected speech, bite, and chew abilities.


Is It Better To Get A Root Canal Or Tooth Extraction?

Whether you choose to get a root canal treatment or tooth extraction, it’s always better to consider your doctor’s recommendation. Other factors such as the cost, risk, possible complications, and after-effects should also be taken into consideration. Overall, saving the tooth is your dentist’s primary concern above anything else.

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