Millions of Americans suffer from tooth decay each year. When faced with this painful and destructive condition, patients may be presented with the option either to undergo a root canal or extract the tooth entirely. Which option is better? The answer depends upon the extent of the decay or damage to your tooth and your unique dental needs and preferences. However, when a root canal is an option, it is often a preferable choice.
What Is a Root Canal?
When the tissue inside of a tooth, also called the pulp, gets infected or damaged, it can cause pain, sensitivity, decay, and other problems. A root canal is a common dental procedure that removes infected or damaged pulp and replaces it with a filling material. A successful root canal preserves the rest of the tooth so that the patient can continue to enjoy their natural tooth without the infected pulp.
Why Choose a Root Canal?
There are several reasons to opt for a root canal rather than having a tooth extracted. Let’s discuss some of those reasons so that you can make an informed decision when you speak with your dentist about how to treat your damaged or infected tooth.
Preserving Your Natural Tooth
In some cases, a tooth might be too damaged to be saved, or an infection might be too severe to respond well to a root canal treatment. In such cases, a patient might need to have the problem tooth extracted. However, if extraction is not necessary, dentists will often recommend a root canal which would allow most of the natural tooth to be saved. The majority of root canal patients can typically anticipate enjoying a functional tooth after the procedure.
Keeping Teeth Aligned
When a tooth is extracted, the surrounding teeth may shift. This can cause bite misalignment which can lead to painful jaw problems. Opting for a root canal can preserve the natural alignment of your teeth by keeping your natural tooth in place.
Preventing Bone Loss
Tooth extraction is the most common cause of jawbone deterioration. When teeth are missing, the bone can break down, causing the jaw to weaken. Preserving a tooth and its root by choosing a root canal over tooth extraction can save the integrity of your jawbone.
The overall cost of tooth extraction tends to be higher than the cost of a root canal. This is because tooth extraction is often followed by dental implant placement or the creation of a custom bridge to replace the missing teeth. It often requires more long-term dental care than would undergoing a root canal. As such, a root canal is often the most time-saving and cost-effective option.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Dentist.
At Smile League Dental in Joliet, we understand the importance of helping our patients make the treatment choices that are right for them. Give us a call at 815-782-6243 to schedule a consultation with our expert team, so that you can decide if a root canal treatment is right for you.