If you’re someone who is stuck deciding between root canal therapies saving your tooth versus an extraction pooling or removing your tooth, please know that if you’re stressed about this decision, you’re not alone. The root canal versus extraction debate has been around for a while. But once you understand all of the pros and cons of each, you’ll feel much more confident about which one is right for you.
I want to start by saying having a dentist that you trust is everything especially when you’re dealing with whether or not to save a tooth. Do not base your decision on what you’ve heard about a friend or a family member’s dental experience. Everyone’s teeth are different. There is literally no comparison to dental treatment plans even if it sounds like someone had a similar situation to you. So please talk with your dentist about your individual situation. They are there to help guide you in the right direction with their honest professional opinion.
A lot of times patients tend to lean toward an extraction instead of a root canal because it seems like there are more pros than cons initially. Especially if they’re in pain and they just want things over with. Or they’re just tired of dealing with a tooth that’s been giving them problems. Maybe they’re basing it off of price lots of money pulling the tooth is cheaper at first. It’s super important to be aware that it might not be the cheapest option in the long run because of future problems and complications that extractions can create.
So what seems like the fastest and easiest option, pulling a tooth isn’t always the best choice now.
Of course, there are times when extracting it is your only option. But if that’s the case there’s no decision to make if your dentist has already found that a root canal isn’t possible. So in general a root canal is always the best first choice. There is nothing better than having your natural tooth in your mouth even if a crown has to be placed on top of it. After the root canal which is the norm, it’s still your natural tooth under there intertwined with your bone.
When you extract a tooth and get an implant it’s not a tooth anymore. It’s a screw under there now.
Again not a bad option. Implants are actually great but if it’s a choice between the two then it’s definitely worth trying to save your natural tooth with a root canal. A trustworthy dentist will let you know whether or not it’s worth it for your individual situation. Sometimes they will give you percentages on how likely the root canal is to be a success. Sometimes they will be confident it will be a success. If so definitely go for it.
But if it’s a percentage say they give you a 50-50 chance that your root canal will be a success, I would personally still do it. I’m all about trying to save my natural teeth if I can. But if you were in this example scenario, everyone is different and maybe you’re unsure about the 50-50 chance. If you were hoping for more of a 90% or a 100% chance of root canal success, maybe then you would want to go the extraction route.
Root Canal or Tooth Extraction Which is fine?
However, I just want everyone to be aware that it’s not always all over after an extraction. Because extracting a tooth is sometimes like opening a can of worms. It seems easy at first, but you might find out more complications and more problems, and more expenses in the future. Not always but sometimes. The biggest thing is that there is no other option once you pull it out. That’s why I’m all about the root canal because if for some reason it was a low success rate, at least I did everything I could to save it. After trying if it didn’t work then I can go extract it again.
I know everyone’s time and financial situation are different. But the point is that most of the time it is close to a 100% chance of success. So in most cases, it’s not even a decision. The investment in a root canal really does save you time and money overall. There are really not many cons to a root canal. Root canals unfortunately get a really bad reputation surrounding them. People think they are painful, not worth it, or that it’s way worse than most other everyday dental treatments. But the reality is that getting a root canal can be done in a comfortable pain-free manner.
Root canal pros:
- Saves your natural tooth
- Less expensive in the long run
- Saves your surrounding teeth from shifting
- Saves your opposing teeth from dropping down
- And Saves your bone level from being lost
Root canal cons: it’s expensive initially.
- You get out of pain quickly
- It’s cheaper initially
- It’s more expensive in the long run and more involved in the long run, for example, needing to add bone to the hole working to prevent your adjacent teeth from shifting and the opposing teeth from dropping down
- Changes in your bite alignment can happen due to a missing tooth
- Chewing issues lead to the need for replacements such as partial dentures or a bridge or an implant in the future
There are definitely more cons with an extraction, however again please know that it doesn’t mean an extraction is bad. Extractions are truly meant as a last resort. If you had a broken arm, your first thing wouldn’t be going to chop it off. You would do everything you could to save that arm. But if it’s your only option, your dentist has found that a root canal is not possible. Or after talking with your dentist, you decide an extraction really is the best option for you at this time in your life. That is fine.
I am not shaming people who choose to do an extraction even though they were recommended to do a root canal. Everyone has different priorities. It is your mouth and it is your decision. So whether you choose to get an extraction or if it’s your only option to get an extraction.
I hope this helped you and helped make this decision less intimidating. Whatever you choose will be the right decision for you.